"She gives back a lot.... It was a pretty easy decision," Mr. Harrison said.
Ms. Ray was brought to the dealership as a surprise on the Friday before Mother's Day, where she was met by representatives from local radio and TV stations, RNR and Yokohama Tire Corp.
Mr. Harrison said he originally paid for the car, but then Yokohama wanted to create a partnership, so he was allowed to use his co-op dollars toward the promotion.
"My entire advertising budget for that period, about $50,000, all went to promoting this program. That's all we promoted during that time," he said.
Yokohama changed out the factory outfitted tires on the new car with a set of Yokohamas and then gave Ms. Ray a certificate for a replacement set. His distributors also gave her a $500 fuel gift card.
"RNR's commitment to positively impacting the lives of our dedicated associates and wonderful customers has always been at the forefront of our company's core values," said Larry Sutton, founder and president of RNR, who attended the giveaway event.
"Today was truly one of the proudest days I have ever experienced in business. It was an honor to help support such a deserving single mother and a true blessing for all those who played a role in making this event possible."
Mr. Sutton later told Tire Business that the franchise network intends to extend the Mother's Day car giveaway program nationally next year.
He noted that, like Mr. Harrison, he was raised by a single mom.
"So we have a special place in our hearts for the struggles they have."
The RNR network comprises 16 franchisees who operate about 100 stores in 22 states.
He envisions promoting four or five Mother's Day car giveaways on a regional basis next year, in addition to giving away a set of tires in every store.
Mr. Harrison said his experience with a single mother impacts his decisions on store promotions.
He said he remembers his mom having to take care of car repairs or buying tires, so with every set of tires he sells, the customer receives a year's worth of roadside assistance, including towing, key lockout and other services.
Mr. Harrison, who opened his first RNR outlet 12 years ago, operates 21 stores in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas and has plans to open seven more stores this year.
He is looking at 11 potential sites for stores to open next year.