Modern Tire Dealer

Handbook 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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P e r f o r m a n c e H a n d b o o k 2 0 1 9 28 I find it hard to believe that as the net- work of independent tire dealers started to develop in the early 1900s, not one of them offered mobile tire service. So pinpointing its creation is — hey, I'm not afraid to say it — impossible. Over the years, Modern Tire Dealer has chronicled the unique way some opportu- nistic independent dealers have offered this service (Remember Captain Friendly? Keep reading!), so it is more than a fad. Zohr Mobile Tire Service ("We are car nerds and innovators") in Kansas City, Mo.; MTX Mobile Tire Shop ("Everyone sells tires, but we are changing the way you buy tires") in South Shore, Mass.; Momentum Tire and Wheel ("Dedicated to making your life easier") in upper Northeast New Jersey; and GoTire Inc. ("Wherever you are") at more than 40,000 locations across the country, are four examples of established independents offering mobile service. At the same time, mobile tire service has been less than commonplace. e cost (well over $100,000 just to get started) and logistics make it an unlikely profit center unless you are really patient. And committed. at may be about to change, however, with four progressive companies putting time and money into mobile tire services. e Tire Rack Inc. purchased ASAP Mobile Tire Service ("We come to you"), a mobile tire service in Philadelphia, Pa.; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; Atlanta, Ga.; and Colorado. Icahn Automotive Group LLC recently created the Pep Boys Mobile Crew, "a state- of-the-art" traveling trailer and service bay designed to provide on-location "preventive maintenance and repair services," including tire installation and repair; oil changes; engine diagnostics; brake, shock and strut replacement; heating, air conditioning and cooling maintenance; and belt and hose replacement. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has been slowly expanding its pilot mobile tire service program since 2016, when it opened in Los Angeles. "As highlighted at our Customer Conference in January and consistent with previous messages, the tire industry is at an inflection point and Goodyear is focused on making the tire buying and installation process easier no matter how consumers wish to interact with our brands," said Mike Dauberman, chief digital officer for the U.S. and Canada. Go Mobile Tires Inc. (formerly Mobile Tire Experts) in Florida and California is another newcomer. Owners Joe Flores, Sarkis Ohanian and Derek Maidoo saw a trend of customers, including businesses, bringing in tires purchased online and wanting to have them installed. "As of today we have mobile vehicles scheduled for South Florida, Jacksonville, and three units in Southern California," says Flores. "With the increase in online shopping for tires, more of the online sellers are looking for mobile installation rather than brick and mortar." CAPTAIN FRIENDLY In MTD's May 1985 issue, Group Technical Director Mike Mavrigian wrote about his experiences riding in a mobile service van and flying in a helicopter in order to get a close-up look at the Johnny Antonelli Tire Co.'s unique "Captain Friendly" program. At the time the company had 19 Firestone locations in the Rochester, N.Y., area. On page 30 is an excerpt from that story. Johnny Antonelli Tire is no more, having sold the majority of its retail stores to Bridgestone/ Firestone Inc. in 1994. Radio station WVOR changed its call letters to WDVI "e Drive" in 2006. And author Mike Mavrigian is not only editor of our sister publication, Auto Service Professional, but also owner of Birchwood Automotive Group. Going mobile NEW SERVICE MODEL PUTS RETAILERS BEHIND THE WHEEL Bob Ulrich By P a s t , P r e s e n t , F u t u r e : M o b i l e T i r e S e r v i c e Q&A with Goodyear about its mobile tire service Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. started its latest mobile tire service pilot program in Los Angeles in 2016. MTD: What geographic areas are you of- fering the pilot program? Goodyear: We have mobile operations in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Charlotte, and Cleveland that are tied to Goodyear.com. There are additional mobile install vans in Baltimore and Philadelphia as part of the Roll pilot. MTD: How many vans do you have in each area? Goodyear: We have one or two mobile install vans per market. MTD: What brands do you sell? Goodyear: Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly (the brands sold on Goodyear.com, Goodyear- AutoService.com or JustTires.com). MTD: Do the vans work closely with Good- year company-owned stores, or stores that sell Goodyear? Goodyear: With the exception of the Roll pilot, the mobile install vans are not tied to brick-and-mortar stores. MTD: Can the vans handle UHP and large diameter P-metric and light truck tires? Goodyear: The mobile install vans can handle most standard passenger tires. Larger diameter rims are referred to the dealer installation network. MTD: Do you offer any auto services other than mounting and balancing? Goodyear: Not at this time MTD: Have you ever tried mobile tire ser- vice before? Goodyear: Yes. Goodyear piloted "Tire Va- let" in Chicago in the early 2000s. Goodyear is not the only tire manufacturer to offer mobile tire service. Bridgestone Mo- bile Tire services the Greater Nashville area. Each Go Mobile Tire van covers a 15- to 20-mile service ra- dius with one technician.

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