MIAMI — Tire Group International L.L.C. (TGI) sells happiness. Sure, the company makes a profit selling tires, but what the real money maker is a positive state of mind.
That approach is baked into what brothers Tony Gonzalez and Joaquin Gonzalez Jr., the company's CEO and president, respectively, preach and practice every day.
"Selling happiness. We're all about being a happy place to work. We're all about a place customers come to because we make them happy," Tony Gonzalez said. "We sell a stress-free work environment. We're not about politicking in the office."
This article appears in the Nov. 23 print edition of Tire Business.
Good vibes are what Miami-bsed TGI runs on. All day, every day.
Potential hires are carefully considered and questioned about their attitude about their vocation. Not only do they have to be hard workers, but they must bring a positive approach to the job.
"You are coming to a place that's fun to work at because we don't get into rumor or politics. If that's the kind of person you are, tell me now and we'll avoid a mutual headache," Tony Gonzalez said.
This approach is so ingrained at TGI that happiness supersedes any profit motivation. If someone can't get on board, even if they are otherwise successfully doing their job, well, there's the door.
"We're all about positivity. We're all about finding a better way of doing things," Tony Gonzalez said.
The CEO has been around tires all his life, starting as a young boy helping his father in the trade. His grandfather and great uncle also were in the business in Cuba dating back to World War II. After the Cuban revolution, the Gonzalez family moved to the U.S. in the early 1960s, before the brothers were born.
Trading off his family's involvement in the tire business, Tony Gonzalez founded TGI in the early 1990s with a small staff working out of his townhouse. With connections created over the years in the family business, and his work with Tire Kingdom handling its export business as a contract worker, he was able quickly to make TGI successful.
Over time, the company went from being a middleman facilitating deals without ever touching tires to an operation now that has warehouses in Miami, Tampa and Portland, Ore., to handle inventory. The firm, like other wholesalers, has its own tire brands and handles products from other companies.
TGI specializes in the Tier 3 segment, where price and value come together to attract customers.