Modern Tire Dealer

JAN 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D J a n u a r y 2 0 1 9 4 P u b l i s h e r ' s N o t e s T his year marks a very significant milestone for all of us at Modern Tire Dealer, as we are celebrating 100 years in business. I could list all of the major companies and industries that have come and gone dur- ing this time frame, but that's something for another day. I could write in great detail about how our industry has changed drastically over the years, moving from clincher tires to the early balloon tires to the major switch to radial passenger tires, which unbelievably took place 50 years ago. Or I could write about how mass merchandisers like Sears, JCPenney, Montgomery Ward and Kmart had strong tire sales programs, and all are either gone or a fraction of what it once was. e threat of extinction of tire dealers by warehouse clubs and new car dealers has subsided, now being replaced by the ever-evolving nature of online commerce. Or I could look to the future, wonder- ing if non-pneumatic tires, like the Tweel, will someday replace radial tires, and if online sales will peak and be supplanted by some new form of sales platform that has yet to be invented. Or I could write about the dramatic changes that the retreading industry has seen, with fewer, but larger, players capturing more and more market share. But in my mind, that might be a bit too cliché. e magazine's 100 th anniversary is one of those events that allows you to stop and reflect on things. So, I'd prefer to write about something far more personal to me: why I enjoy our industry so much. It started when I was very young, maybe eight to 10 years of age. I used to beg my father to let me ride along and "help" him work during summer vacations. He had a contract to perform service station maintenance for Sunoco dealers throughout northeast Ohio. We did everything from replacing underground storage tanks and repairing lis to planting flowers and shrubs as part of a company's "beautification" program — a forerunner to what today is commonplace at each of your dealerships because you understand the importance of making your shops look hospitable for customers. It's was a generational thing, you see, as my father worked for his father, only to have that partnership take a hiatus while my father served in the military during the Second World War. When he came home, the time was right for him to take over the business from his father. He worked long hours, came home and then "allowed" my brothers and me to help him work in our garden, or our fruit orchard, or mow our three acres of land. When you were young in those days, being allowed to drive the tractor and mow the lawn was great fun. My father agreed to sometimes allow me to go to work with him, but even at that early age, it came with a promise I had to make. He knew that the service station industry was changing rapidly, and companies like his would either have to become very large to be able to deal with new government regulations, such as OSHA and EPA, or fold. Either way, he knew that a college education was going to be necessary. My promise was to make good grades, go to college and then see what the environment was like when I graduated. Nothing was better to me than piling onto the front seat of a pickup truck, sitting alongside my dad and a co-worker THE MAGAZINE'S 100TH ANNIVERSARY IS ONE OF THOSE EVENTS THAT ALLOWS YOU TO STOP AND REFLECT ON THINGS. Let our 100 th anniversary celebration begin Greg Smith By 1919

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