CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — Tire dealers saw a surge in business in June. They attribute the increase to a number of reasons, including federal stimulus funds and the easing of stay-at-home restrictions.
Concern remains, however, for a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and, along with that, the possibility of new stay-at-home restrictions.
At the same time, finding and retaining quality technicians continues to be a problem for the industry.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Tire Business has kept in contact with a number of tire dealers in North America for periodic updates on how their businesses are adjusting.
Gordon Leffler, owner and operator of a Suburban Tire Auto Care Center in Glendale Heights, Ill., said business has been "splendid" in June and noted foot traffic in Illinois increased with the easing of stay-at-home restrictions in early June.
"Most folks were at home from mid-March until early June," Mr. Leffler said. "All of those minor vehicle issues, like oil changes, tire repairs and tire rotations, were effectively put on hold for 75 days."
He said this led to a high car count but a lower amount spent per customer.
Shane Robertson, president of Robertson Tire Co. with 14 locations throughout the greater Tulsa, Okla., metro area, said the company saw a big increase in business in June.
"It's actually been better than last June, which was one of our best in history," Mr. Robertson said.
"… We noticed the return of customers the day the stimulus checks started being deposited. Then things really picked up once the state 're-opened,'…" he said.
"We are now fully open, and things are great. Like most places, we have seen more positive COVID cases, but hospitals are still well under capacity, and deaths remain very low."