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What’s Treading with Tire Review

Author: Babcox Media

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What’s Treading with Tire Review brings you features the latest tire industry trends, issues, technology and shop management practices among dealers in the industry today.
48 Episodes
Across the automotive aftermarket, shop owners and distributors alike continue to grapple with one huge challenge. You’ve guessed it: labor. More specifically for shops, a technician shortage. We know, we know -- this isn’t news to you. However, since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, some shops are going about recruiting and retaining employees a bit differently. In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, our 2021 Top Shop Winner and Finalists are here to tell you how they’re doing just that. We caught up with our 2021 Top Shops at our Top Shop Event in Nashville, Tennessee in August, where we delved into a myriad of topics around shop operations and productivity. In this episode: - Jake and Jason Burt, two of the five partners of Burt Brothers Tire & Service, share how they’ve created more flexible schedules and career pathways for their employees at their 16-location dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah. [1:30]- Laura Telle, vice president and chief people officer at Telle Tire & Auto Centers, describes how the dealership offers different levels of training for service advisors and technicians for advancement in the company. [3:40]- Scott Williams, partner and vice president of marketing and brand management for Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake and Service Co., explains how the five-location dealership in Honolulu, Hawaii created its own in-house university and details the process the business goes through to nurture good employees. [5:55]- Mark Rhodes, co-owner of Plaza Tire Service, explains how trust in his shop managers has proved to help the business grow and succeed. [8:25]Listen here or subscribe to What's Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Play:
Today's tire industry is home to legacy know who they are: Goodyear, Firestone, BF Goodrich, General Tire, Mohawk Rubber. The list goes on. The ones we listed, though, have one thing in common: They started in Akron, Ohio. In fact, as these tire manufacturers developed, so did the city of Akron. Now, the memories and stories from those that helped build these tire giants are being immortalized for years to come in the Akron Rubber Worker Statue & Stories Project. The project started seven years ago, when Akronite Miriam Ray realized that there was nothing in the city to honor early rubber industry workers, which included some of her family members. However, with the help of Mac Love, head of creative intelligence agency Art x Love, and the City of Akron and other sponsors, a Rubber Worker Statue was recently unveiled in downtown Akron. The stories of these rubber industry workers live on in the Akron Stories project. In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, we invite Ray, the project’s founder, and Love, the project's lead, into our studio to explain more about the Akron Stories project and how you can contribute to it. Ray and Love discuss: - How the Akron Rubber Worker Statue & Stories Project came to fruition [1:19] - What inspired the look of the statue and how its origins were told through stories [4:02] - How the oral history storytelling element of the project was developed and how a grassroots effort spurred a movement to commemorate the people who made Akron the “Rubber Capital of the World” in the early 20th century [6:00] - Details of the statue and how it’s becoming an Akron landmark that memorializes the city's early rubber industry history [8:09] - How, due to its rubber industry roots, Akron was on the cusp of societal innovation, from creating the Pre-K school system to inventing the football huddle [12:02] - Challenges the group encountered initially with the statue and project and how they overcame them with a motto of doing the project for the people of Akron [13:40] - How the Akron Stories project is being funded currently and how you can contribute to the cause, submit a story and show your support [16:10] - Miriam’s and Mac’s favorite stories from the early days of the rubber industry from the hundreds of stories submitted to the Akron Stories project [18:57] Listen here or subscribe to “What’s Treading with Tire Review” on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
Following the money can tell you a great deal about what's happening in the tire industry, and in 2021, capital has been in the hands of private equity-backed companies and publicly held behemoths. So, what does that mean for tire dealers? In this episode of What's Treading with Tire Review, we speak with industry analysts who say these investor-led trends increase the value of independent tire dealerships like never before. Steven Rathbone, managing director for Chicago-based investment banking firm Stout, and Phillip Kane, senior advisor for the company, give us an overview of M&A trends in the first half of 2021 and how M&A activity will fare into 2022. In this episode, Rathbone and Kane dive into: - How Goodyear's purchase of Cooper Tire will affect dealers and, down the line, how it may affect Cooper’s Tier 2 market share - The pandemic’s impact on M&A activity in the tire industry and the players that are driving it - Segments that have been quiet on the M&A front in the past year - Geographic areas in the U.S. in which major acquisitions are taking place in the retail sector - Factors that have led to recent retail consolidation and how it fuels competition - How the M&A environment in distribution and retail will fare this year and why more acquisitions may be coming down the line- The rise of e-commerce during the pandemic and how it’s affecting the tire industry, in particular, tire retailersListen here or subscribe to What's Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Podcasts:
As we work to cross over into a post-pandemic world, the current dynamics in today's tire retail landscape are making it ripe for consolidation as well as franchising, according to Tire Discounters. “One of the things we hear from small business owners is that they’re worn out. They’re tired, and quite frankly, that [the pandemic] was a very difficult time in their business history,” says Jamie Ward, president and CEO of Tire Discounters, in the latest episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review. “We’re able to give some small business owners the freedom to move on....and give them a plan for their employees and customers.” In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, we speak with Ward and Dave Crawford, tire industry veteran and director of franchise development for Tire Discounters, about Tire Discounters’ franchising program. We dive into how it works, what factors have played a role in the company launching it and the overall M&A landscape in tire retail. In this episode: - Ward explains the market factors that influenced the launch of Tire Discounters’ franchising program. - Crawford delves into the options Tire Discounters offers independent tire shops and entrepreneurs looking to get into the tire business, from franchising and investment to acquisition. - Crawford talks about how the franchise model has changed over the years and how what independent tire dealerships are looking for in a franchise partner has changed. Over the past 25 years, Crawford has run marketing and franchise efforts for American Car Care Centers, American Tire Distributors’ Tire Pros and the Hybrid Shop.- Crawford explains changes in the marketing landscape for independent tire dealers and how the horsepower behind franchising has the ability to take dealers to another level - Ward and Crawford describe how the pandemic has fueled M&A activity in the tire industry Watch here or subscribe to What's Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Play: on Tire Discounters franchising: from Tire Review:
How do you take an unprofitable store and make it a revenue-generating machine? In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, we speak with a tire dealer duo who’s done just that: Cassandra White and Courtney Condor, owners of an RNR Tire Express store in Puyallup, Washington. Just under 10 years ago, these sisters took over their parent’s store and made some major changes to yield positive – and profitable results. Casee and Courteny delve into:- How the two started in the tire industry, took over the store and the experience they brought to the business - Getting outside help to evaluate the business and areas they sought to improve- Identifying the new customer base that they wanted to attract and how they were able to bring new customers into the business - Changes to the shop’s look the sisters made and how they tweaked their customer experience - How they fixed the way they were pricing their services and keeping track of and ordering inventory- How they calculate car count and more than doubling their car count from eight years ago - The importance of consistency and how Casee and Courtney believe word of mouth advertising will lead to their business’ longevity- Advice Casee and Courtney have for other tire dealers on working on the business and how dealers should “bring it back to the simple stuff” Listen above or subscribe to “What’s Treading with Tire Review” on the following channels:Apple Podcasts: Play:
“I want to help make the industry better before I leave this earth, whether it's doing a tire panel or doing a tire podcast, because this industry has been a big part of my life. I'm very proud of what this industry has given to me, and I want to turn around and repay it.” That’s the life mission of John Gamauf, retired president of Bridgestone-Firestone North American consumer tire company. But, many of you know him as Johnny g. Starting out with Firestone as a tire buster in the late 60s, Johnny g rose through the company’s ranks to become one of the most well-known individuals in the tire industry. He was responsible for creating Bridgestone's Affiliated Dealer Program and helped navigate the company through one of the largest tire recalls in history. He now continues his work in the tire industry, and we’re going to find out what he’s been up to most recently. In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, we dive into: - Johnny g’s start in the tire industry and how his “tire buster” beginnings helped him in his career - How Johnny g climbed his way up to the corporate ladder with Firestone and the difference between dealers across the country - How professional baseball player Johnny Antonelli played a role in Johnny g’s interview to become head of Dayton truck brands and advance in the company - Where Johnny g was when he found out about the Ford-Firestone recall, his emotions and how he and other company executives responded to it - Staying in touch with friends in the tire business and why Johnny g was called on a personal level to work with market research firm GfK on point-of-sale data - How Johnny’s g’s latest project, the Johnny g & Friends podcast, came to be, and his collaboration with Tire Review - A sneak peek at Johnny g’s podcast guests and his mission-driven reasons for doing the podcast - Why Johnny g’s life mission is to contribute to making the tire industry better Listen here or subscribe to “What’s Treading with Tire Review” on:Apple Podcasts: Play: Review:
Sustainable mobility has become a buzzword in the automotive industry, as carmakers look toward an electric—and zero-emissions—future. But how exactly will this grand idea be achieved? Michelin North America has an idea. This year, Michelin introduced its "Michelin in Motion" plan, its “all sustainable” strategy to drive new growth in the next 10 years with a focus on people, planet and profit. It includes tackling vehicle electrification challenges as well as new business opportunities that don’t necessarily include tires. In this episode, we speak with Alexis Garcin, chairman and president of Michelin North America, to dig deeper into Michelin's 10-year plan and what it means for North American tire dealers. We discuss: - Vehicle electrification challenges in which Michelin can play a role in tackling in the Americas - How the tire supply chain can become more sustainable in the next decade - Michelin’s role in passing its ESG initiatives down to the tire supply chain to dealers and distributors - Why Michelin is looking to venture outside the tire industry and what its focus on services and data solutions means for dealers - How Michelin is using 3-D printing in its commercial tire technology and future uses of this new business unit for the company - Industry growth in the 19-in and up segment and how Michelin’s “Simplexity” project aims to help dealers with SKU complexity - Michelin’s “bold acceleration” through its Michelin in Motion sustainable mobility plan You can listen and subscribe to What's Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Play: check out past episodes of What's Treading with Tire Review, go to
When you think of sustainability, what comes to mind? Perhaps, it’s the folded arrows of the triangular-shaped recycling sign. Or, maybe a pocket park in your neighborhood. Well, it’s those things and so much more. Nowadays, sustainability has made its way into corporate culture in the form of ESG, which stands for environmental, social and governance. You’ve probably heard it from tire manufacturers, who have started charting out ESG goals. One example? Creating tires made fully out of recycled materials by 2050. While it’s cool to hear about these things, you must ESG just a buzzword? A fleeting trend? And how does ESG in the tire industry affect tire dealers and distributors? To delve into these questions, we speak with Anne Evans, a former tire dealer who is a leader and innovator in the global tire and waste industry. Today, Anne consults with companies on the topic of ESG, and we dive into it with a tire industry lens. We discuss: - What ESG means for tire manufacturers and how it encompasses all they do [3:56] - The origins of ESG and how politics can move the needle on sustainability initiatives [5:00] - How ESG trickles down the supply chain in other industries [6:34] - How ESG could be implemented across the tire supply chain, including with dealers and distributors [7:50] - How tire dealers can incorporate ESG into their business – and how they are already doing it and may not know it [8:50] - Ways for tire dealers to manage their ESG initiatives [9:30] - The future of ESG in the tire industry [12:25]
It's no secret that the tire supply chain has been jolted by the coronavirus pandemic. Things are sort of a hot mess and there are so many factors playing a role – the price and availability of raw materials, shipping, and freight, changes in manufacturing, fluctuating supply and demand...the list goes on. Dealers are most likely seeing these supply chain challenges in the form of low fill rates and higher prices across the board. But how did we get here? And when will the supply chain get back to “normal?” To help us make sense of it all, we asked Sumitomo Rubber North America (SRNA) for help. In this episode, we speak with Ron Papcun, senior vice president of operations for SRNA, who is a supply chain veteran. We delve into: - Reasons for delays in shipping of imported goods, including tires, from Asia [2:01] - Conditions that are creating domestic shipping and freight challenges and how it’s impacted the tire industry [3:40]] - Why today's supply chain issues are “growing pains” to make way for the supply chain of the future [7:05] - How the growth of the U.S. supply chain is impacting the tire industry as well as other sectors in creating record sales growth [7:57] - The effect of tariffs and high demand on the tire supply chain for SRNA [10:05] - How COVID-19 created a gap in the tire supply chain and altered supply and demand trends [10:56] - The reasons for rising tire costs in the last year [13:41] - Actions SRNA has taken for the Falken Tire brand to address supply chain challenges [14:34] - Advice for dealers on ordering tires so that they can get the product when they need it [17:59] - When and how the tire supply chain will work itself out and return to a “new normal” [20:54]Listen to What's Treading here or subscribe to the podcast on:Apple Podcasts: Play:
How do you know if you need a new tire changer? And what do you need to do to keep your wheel balancer in mint condition and working order? The industry has lots of questions about changing and balancing tires, and many of those revolve around tire service equipment. In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, we talk with the experts from Hennessy Industries, manufacturers of Coats tire changers, wheel balancers and tire inspection equipment, as well as BADA wheel weights and Baseline products, and answer some of the industry's most asked questions.Hennessy Industries' Kyle Harris and Ryan Rouser, key account managers, dive into some topics around tire changers and wheel balancers most on tire dealers' minds. We discuss: - The wear and tear tire service equipment endures [1:25] - When to repair your tire equipment [2:12] - When to replace your tire equipment [3:23] - Changes in technology and tire service equipment [4:36] - Preventative maintenance to do on your tire service equipment [6:38] - What to do with old tire changers and wheel balancers [8:20] Listen here or subscribe to What's Treading with Tire Review on: Apple Podcasts: Podcasts:
What do you do when the pandemic forces you to lose one of your primary sources of revenue? Well, that’s the predicament the Tire Industry Association found itself in around mid-March last year. When states started to go into lockdown, the association had to cancel its in-person, hands-on training sessions, which made up a majority of its training and a large chunk of its revenue. In this episode, we speak with Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of training for the Tire Industry Association. We delve into: - Why TIA added retails sales management training [1:54 audio] - How COVID-19 affected TIA training and improved its training staff’s skills [4:44 audio] - How TIA transitioned into a virtual learning environment [5:21 audio] - Feedback and the origins behind adding Commercial Tire Service training in Spanish [9:09 audio] Updates to TIA training programs, including what to expect in the latest Automotive Tire Service program update [1:50 audio] Listen here or subscribe to What's Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Play: information about Tire Industry Association training programs, go to
People have different opinions about private equity in the tire industry. Some detest PE firms, hearing stories about how they come in and strip down a business. Others reluctantly accept it, and some embrace it, knowing that outside capital is coming in hot, thanks to the resilience of our industry. Regardless of how you feel, private equity has offered a way for many shop owners to transition their business or expand with the backing of outside capital. In this episode of What's Treading with Tire Review, we dig into the process of how private equity firms work with shops and what they look for in an acquisition. In this episode: - We hear from a former independent tire dealer about his experience selling his business to private equity firm GB Auto Service (1:06) - Vic Tarasik, founder of Shop Owner Coach, and Frank Kneller, president of GB Auto, discuss what private equity firms look for when they acquire new stores. (4:13) - Tarasik advises what dealers should do to get their shops attractive and ready for sale. (6:32) Listen to this episode here or subscribe to What's Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Play:
We’re almost a year into the pandemic, and as a result, industry events like trade shows have been forced to go virtual. For many, there’s also been a change in the way they’re communicating with vendors and customers and serving their needs. One company in the industry that has experienced this is K&M Tire. As a tire distributor, K&M works with both tire manufacturers and dealers with a mission to serve dealers’ needs. In this episode, we talk with Dave Miller, Director of Marketing for K&M Tire, about the company’s adaptability during the pandemic and how it executed its first-ever virtual trade show. Dave speaks about: - Changes in communication K&M experienced as a result of the pandemic [2:20] - Planning K&M’s first-ever virtual trade show [4:31] - How K&M rose to the occasion in a changing pandemic environment [10:38] - How the pandemic has affected the tire industry [13:24] - K&M’s dealer-first approach to doing business [15:20] - Ways K&M stuck to its motto of continuous improvement in a difficult year [16:30]Listen here or subscribe to “What’s Treading with Tire Review” on:- Apple Podcasts: Spotify: Play:
It’s no secret that vehicle technology is changing at a rapid pace. Tire dealers see it in their bays every day when performing both tire and service work. One company that is on the front lines of adapting to new vehicle technology – and understanding the needs of the technician- is JohnDow Industries. “New products and improving existing products... staying relevant and understanding what professional technicians need, that’s the lifeblood of our company,” says JohnDow President Robert Christy. “We spend a lot of time in the bays, understanding their needs and understanding how our products are performing and how they can be improved.” In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, we talk with Christy and members of his team to understand how the company is adapting to technicians’ fluid and fuel extraction and TPMS needs. We delve into: -Market trends JohnDow saw in 2020 [2:14] -Product categories, both new and improved, for the company in 2021 [3:17] -The company’s focus on the heavy-duty market for its EuroVent exhaust extraction line [4:33] -Trends that could change the TPMS landscape that are on JohnDow’s radar [6:15] -Changes in oil and fluid handling in domestic and import vehicles at the shop level [8:46] -How JohnDow plans to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to new vehicle technology to serve customers [11:00] Listen here or subscribe to “What’s Treading with Tire Review” on:Apple Podcasts: Play:
It's hard to grow amid a pandemic, but Kenda Tire was the outlier. Its message of “premium performance at a value price” found consumers at the right time, and Kenda officials say it’s proven fruitful for the tiremaker. However, just days deep into 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce threw a wrench into the works. Kenda and its fellow Taiwanese tiremakers are now working to escape unscathed from the department’s anti-dumping investigation into PLT tires imported from Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea. Despite this current challenge, Kenda Tire remains optimistic in 2021 with new products and enhancements to its dealer program on the horizon. In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, we speak with Brandon Stotsenburg, vice president of automotive for American Kenda Rubber, and Ryan Lewis, the company’s marketing manager, on the following topics: - Challenges for Kenda and the tire supply chain in 2020 [2:10] - Market response to the Klever XT UTV and trends in the off-road segment [5:34] - Size expansions and products on the horizon in 2021 [7:30] - Enhancements to its Traction dealer program [10:01] - Kenda’s response to the International Trade Commission’s anti-dumping investigation into PLT tire imports from Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam [13:10] - What Kenda Tire officials want dealers to know about the brand this year [17:00] Listen here or subscribe to “What’s Treading with Tire Review” on:Apple Podcasts: Play: learn more about the DOC's investigation, go to: learn more about Kenda Tire, visit:
As trade shows, tire launches and other events continue to go virtual into 2021, we wanted to provide a look back on one of the largest aftermarket trade shows to go online and see how it turned out. That show is the Virtual AAPEX Experience, co-owned by the Auto Care Association and MEMA, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers’ Association. This past year, AAPEX transitioned its show offerings into the virtual experience with a laser focus on the shop owner and service professional’s needs. In this episode, we catch up with Mark Bogdansky, vice president of meetings and events for the Auto Care Association, and Vic Tarasik, owner of Shop Owner Coach who is a former shop owner and member of the AAPEX Show Committee. Bogdansky and Tarasik explain: -Attendance of at the first-ever AAPEX Virtual Experience and who made up the audience [1:51] -An update on the dedicated tire section at the show and what’s in store for AAPEX 2021 [4:13] -How AAPEX is working to incorporate more tire and tire service equipment into its live bays in Joe’s Garage [5:45] -Why tire dealers should invest in coming to next year’s show and the ROI they’ll see from attending [7:43] -The importance of ADAS training and how AAPEX is building its training on this topic [9:13] Listen here or subscribe to “What’s Treading with Tire Review” on:Apple Podcasts: Spotify: Google Play: To read the full interview with Vic and Mark, go to
With the start of a new year, it’s the perfect time for independent tire dealerships and businesses alike to rethink old processes, set new goals and learn more about technology and how to use it to your advantage.In this episode of What's Treading with Tire Review, we talk about how you can do just that with credit card processing. Sure, it's not the sexiest topic to start off 2020, but it is important in the daily transactions of your business. With proper education, one company in the industry is looking to simplify credit card processing for automotive repair shops and tire dealers alike - 360 Payments.We speak with Jesse Maddaugh, founding partner of 360 Payments, to get a better understanding of how the company works, how it's looking to help shop owners, and Jesse delves into those little nuances you should look out for as a business owner when selecting a credit card processing company to work with. Listen here or subscribe to What’s Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Play: up on past episodes or watch video episodes of the What's Treading with Tire Review podcast at
Sure, 2020 has been a treacherous year. There've been supply challenges, along with an unprecedented set of business decisions you’ve had to make as a tire dealer. But despite this, there are chances to turn those challenges into opportunities. In this episode, we speak with members of our 2020 Class of Club 3633, Tire Review’s group of industry innovators and influencers. This year’s members delve into the challenges they and the industry have been faced with and how they’re flipping the script to turn them into opportunities to grow, learn and innovate. In this episode, we hear from: - Kameron Butcher, general manager of Lynn Wood Service Center with two locations in northern Utah. Learn more Kameron at Alex Chavez, lead technician at Pasco Tire Factory in Pasco, Washington. Learm more about Alex at - Austin Hale, OTR regional sales manager or McCarthy Tire Service. Learn more about Austin at Trent Wallin, north central regional sales manager for Alliance Tire Americas. Learn more about Trent at Karson, business development manager for Nexen Tire America. Learn more about Greg at here or subscribe to “What’s Treading with Tire Review” on:- Apple Podcasts: Spotify: Google Play: To nominate a tire industry rock star for our 2021 Class of Club 3633, go to
Coming off the heels of its Consumer Tire Business Meeting, Bridgestone made it clear it's creating a path to become a mobility solutions provider of the future. But just what does that mean? In this episode of What's Treading with Tire Review, we speak with Paolo Ferrari, Bridgestone Americas' president and CEO, to gain insight into Bridgestone's long-term business strategy and how dealers fit into the formula. Ferrari also delves into:- Dealing with supply and demand challenges this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;- How digital technologies and data play a role in shaping mobility solutions of the future; - The meaning of tires as a service, how it can change tire retail, and how dealers can leverage this;- Bridgestone's outlook and the health of the tire industry in 2021.Listen here or subscribe to What’s Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Play:, stay tunred to for your latest podcast updates:" target="_blank">
Private equity firms have long been in the tire industry, and a few have been making waves during the coronavirus pandemic. One of them is GB Auto Service, a company backed by Greenbriar Equity Group that has grown over 450% in just three years - and has made three acquisitions since July. In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, we spoke with the company’s CEO, Frank Kneller, about its growth, including:- What GB Auto looks for in companies it acquires- How the portfolio of companies has maneuvered during COVID-19- The company's performance goals- And its growth trajectory for the future. Listen here or subscribe to What’s Treading with Tire Review on:Apple Podcasts: Play: can also check out past episodes at
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