Modern Tire Dealer

NOV 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 8 60 T i r e S a l e s a n d S e r v i c e W hat would you do if someone walked into your business and told you that you were missing out on a huge potential to make more money? Would you kindly show him the door or would you hear him out? A similar scenario played out at Sarkis Motors in early 2017 when third-generation owner Sarkis Ohanian met Joe Flores. "When Joe came in I thought, 'Oh great, another person who is trying to sell me equipment and supplies,'" Ohanian says. "I didn't want to deal with him, but he kept coming in… and he had a great demeanor about him. It just clicked one day when we finally had the chance to talk." Flores, a former tire store owner who has decades of experience in the automotive and tire industries, met Ohanian by chance aer he was involved in a car accident and needed some repairs done to his vehicle. Flores says he saw instant potential adding tire sales to the 10-bay auto body and service shop in Huntington Beach, Calif. "When I came in for the first time I thought the layout was phenomenal. e location is about a block and a half north of the 405 Freeway, which is heavily traveled, and I just thought with a little bit of help, this place could be a gold mine." FROM BODY SHOP TO… Garage Sarkis Inc., which does business as Sarkis Motors, set up shop in Huntington Beach back in the '70s when the majority of the area was still farmland. "It started as a body shop," Ohanian says. "Grandpa Sarkis was a painter by trade and that was his pride. He knew how to do body work and he did body work, but he focused on painting. So we were a body shop initially." As family members joined in the busi- ness, they added service and repair work. "Grandpa Sarkis and my dad handled the business side of things, and my uncle Gary handled the mechanical side of things. He's a Mercedes trained and certified technician." e Sarkis name grew around town and became known as the go-to place for auto bodywork and Mercedes service, the latter through the company's S-Class Motors subsidiary. As the area exploded with development and the client base grew, customers wanted to be able to bring all types of vehicles to Sarkis. "We brought my cousin along and we did an expansion," Ohanian says. "He is more of a well-rounded mechanic on other cars. He's never afraid to tackle anything, and now I don't have to turn away any cars." A NEW PROFIT OPPORTUNITY Business was steady, and the 33-year-old Ohanian kept busy with the day-to-day tasks, almost too busy to realize that he was missing out on a huge market — the 'THIS PLACE COULD BE A GOLD MINE' By Shana O'Malley-Smith By Sarkis Motors has a reputation for performing quality service on high-end and vintage cars. A CALIFORNIA BODY SHOP STARTS A RETAIL TIRE DIVISION

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