Modern Tire Dealer

MAY 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D M a y 2 0 1 9 12 N e w s / V i e w s Bites US Motor Works has tips US Motor Works LLC is sharing its expertise in a new educational series for technicians. The first installment, "Success in Cooling," covers water pumps and is available in print or by download from the company's Pro Tech Center. Ford expands parts rewards Ford Motor Co. is adding a new level of rewards to its Ford Professional Service Network (PSN) wholesale parts program for independent repair facilities. The updated program has a tiered member- ship structure, featuring a standard base program along with a new elite level of membership. OK Tire is growing OK Tire Stores Inc. plans to spend $100 million over five years to expand its distri- bution capabilities in Canada. There are more than 300 independently owned and operated OK Tire stores across Canada. Giti sponsors contest For the third year in a row, Giti Tire (USA) Ltd. sponsored a STEAM (science, technol- ogy, engineering, arts and mathematics) competition with the Chester County School District, S.C., where the company has a manufacturing plant. The Alliance earns honor GCommerce Inc., a provider of cloud-based automation solutions, has named the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Inc. to its GCommerce Hall of Fame. USTMA says 'Know Your Roll' During National Tire Safety Week May 20-27, consumers will be prompted to "know your roll" and perform basic tire maintenance. The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) says tire safety week also will focus on unsafe used tires. Yokohama is top supplier Yokohama Tire Corp. has earned Caterpil- lar Inc.'s platinum supplier award for the seventh straight year. TravelCenters expands TravelCenters of America LLC has added a TA Truck Service center off Interstate 85 southwest of Atlanta. B ridgestone Retail Operations LLC has closed 13 of its 14 Firestone Complete Auto Care stores in the greater Salt Lake City area. For Burt Brothers Tire and Service Inc., that spells opportunity. Jeremy Burt, operations and market- ing manager for Burt Brothers, says the independent tire dealer is working to capture three things: • consumers who now are looking for a new source for tires and auto repair; • employees who are suddenly out of work; and • opportunity to expand to meet the market need. On the consumer end, Burt Brothers has announced in local media that it will honor all of Firestone's consumer agreements and warranties. It's also telling consumers that Burt Brothers is "the only local, direct Firestone dealer in Northern Utah," that it has "one of the largest Firestone tire inventories in the state," and that the dealer will accept the Firestone credit card. "We will make this a seamless transition for customers," Burt says. "We will honor all Firestone warranties and take care of all tire rotations and balances, flat repairs and other needs." As for employees, it's well known in the industry that it's hard to find good workers, especially technicians. Burt Brothers wants to engage the dismissed workers, too. Burt Brothers hosted a job fair for former Firestone employees at its Burt Brothers corporate office on April 5 — three days aer Bridgestone closed its doors. e closing of the stores also presents an opportunity for Burt Brothers to expand. e company, led by brothers Ron Burt and Wendel Burt, was founded in 1991, and operates 11 stores along the Wasatch Front in northern Utah. A second genera- tion — Ron and Wendel's sons, including Jeremy Burt — have joined the company. Jeremy Burt says the company "is also looking for opportunities to reopen the Firestone shops under the Burt Brothers name." Bridgestone didn't specify the reason for the closures, other than to say it made the "difficult decision." Burt Brothers says the closure was "due to a master lease agreement." — Joy Kopcha What to do when Bridgestone closes 13 stores in your market Nexen opens global hub for research and development N exen Tire Corp. has invested more than $171 million and opened a 10-story building in Seoul to serve as its global hub for research and development. e company spent two years building the space, which houses research and business complexes in more than 613,000 square feet. ere's room to focus on smar t te chnolog y, including a research and development center that can predict and implement optimal performances such as original equipment and replacement product manufacturing, artificial intelligence technology, virtual tires, a center to evaluate the performance of tires and vehicles, and a material research center to analyze diverse nano and macro dimensions on various materials. e center will serve as the hub for research and development efforts in Yangsan, Changnyeong, Germany, the Czech Republic, U.S., and China. PHOTO: NEXEN More than 300 people attended the grand opening of Nexen's UniverCity in Seoul. It will serve as the com- pany's hub for research and development.

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