Modern Tire Dealer

FEB 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 9 34 C onsumer preference for ever- larger, even more stylized wheels continues to trigger changes that are redefining how profits are realized in a tire store's service bays. MTD asked equipment manufacturers for trends in consumer tire mounting and balancing that will influence tire dealers' business strategies and equipment purchases. We also asked how tire dealers can respond to the trends impacting the marketplace. Answering on behalf of BendPak Inc. was Max Glassburg, creative content editor. Dave Scribner, product development manager, responded for CEMB USA/BL Systems Inc. Speaking for Hennessy Industries Inc. was Don Vanderheyden, director of marketing. Hunter Engineering Co. answered through two people: Pete Liebetreu, vice president of marketing, and Greg Meyer, product manager of wheel balancers and lathes. Snap-on Equipment Inc. shared perspective via Kyle Harris, product manager. TOP TRENDS MTD began by asking each respondent to identify the top three trends their companies are seeing in consumer tire mounting and balancing. BendPak, Glassburg: If you've been in this business for a while, you know that the wheel balancing game looks different today compared to what it looked like just a few years ago. We can definitely point to three industry trends that account for this change. e first trend we're seeing is the pro- liferation of larger-diameter rims and tires on smaller passenger cars. Dealers need to be ready with tire machines that can safely handle a wider variety of wheel sizes. e second trend we're noticing is that flashier rims are no longer exclusive to custom and luxury markets. OEMs are differentiating their wheels for uniqueness and identification purposes. More and more, style matters to owners of vehicles that were once considered purely practical daily drivers. is change, which is being driven by OEMs and their response to market demands, means there is a bigger market for larger, more stylized wheels. is is even true for economy vehicle wheels. To meet these new consumer demands, car makers are now offering aluminum and alloy wheels as standard options. is means less use of clip-on weights and more tape weights. It also requires an increased awareness of how to handle these specialized varieties. e third trend we're seeing, which we won't spend as much time discussing here, is that both the off-road and plus-size markets are growing. Be ready to see more large tire-and-wheel combinations rolling into your shop. CEMB, Scribner: Heavy wheel liing can hurt your shop and balancing accuracy. ere are young tire guys and bold tire guys but never old and bold tire guys. It's tough work bending over and liing all day long. e young and bold tire guys will someday be older and need to look at the guys who made it and the guys who didn't and ended up disabled. To prevent injuries and reduce shop liabilities, enforce the use of employee per- sonal safety equipment and teach liing precautions when assemblies approach 50 How mounting and balancing will change in 2019 Ann Neal By M o u n t i n g / B a l a n c i n g Hunter Engineer Co.'s Pete Liebetreu notes dealers have been experiencing today's trends for some time now: the growth of larger, heavier wheels driven by the move to SUVs and trucks; the growth of low-profile and run-flat tires as sedans and perfor- mance vehicles increasingly adopt these styles; and the ever-present decline in tradi- tional assemblies. Hunter defines tires as follows: low-profile – fitments 45 series or lower; run-flat – any type of run-on flat tire; large diameter – wheel size in excess of 20 inches; heavy assembly – assemblies whose overall diameter exceeds 30 inches. Growth of Difficult Tire and Wheel Fitments EQUIPMENT IS DESIGNED FOR DIFFICULT TIRE AND WHEEL FITMENTS

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