In a year that will be remembered for its death, illness and the all-around inconvenience of COVID-19, there still were moments in 2020 to smize — smile with your eyes.
For the tire industry, the year brought challenges, but vehicles still hit the road, tires wore down and business continued.
"Made us very thankful that we didn't own 31 restaurants, 31 movie theaters, 31 gyms, 31 barbershops or 31 nail salons or have a business that was directly tied to these other industries," Chris Mitsos, vice president of Mountain View Tire & Service Inc., said. Mountain View operates 31 locations throughout the greater Los Angeles metro area.
"With few exceptions, (customers) were very thankful we were open and ready to serve them. Our customers also showed us how essential we really are to the community, especially in a market like Southern California where, without a car, you are in a less than desirable position," Mr. Mitsos said.
In early April, Scott Shubin, president of Goodguys Tires & Auto Repair, which operates nine retail locations in and around Fresno, Calif., called the situation surreal. At the time, he said, foot traffic was way down but regular customers were catching up on maintenance.
In late April, he was positive for the future heading into an easing of lockdown orders and the start of summer weather.
"Our car count has certainly dropped off, but the average spend is up," Mr. Shubin said at the time.