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Tire Sales = Customer Retention

Tire Sales = Customer Retention

Selling tires and alignments helps new-car dealers retain service customers, automaker and supplier executives agree. By contrast, they warn that customers who drift away to independent tire stores might never return to the dealership for service.

Although franchised dealerships are selling more replacement tires than in previous years, the marketplace remains fiercely contested

“Many times, the first paid service is done outside the dealership,” says John Zentz, vice president of sales for Hunter Engineering, which sells equipment for tire balancing, mounting, alignment and tread-reading to all segments of the tire replacement industry.

Eric Johnston, vice president of customer service for Jaguar Land Rover North America, notes that “once you are in the tire business, it opens up the rest of that service world for you.” Jaguar Land Rover dealerships’ franchise agreements require their service departments to have alignment machines, he says.

David Boyle is president of Tire Profiles, a company that sells TreadSpec and Groove Glove, two diagnostic devices that use laser technology to read tire treads. He observes: “One of the big reasons dealers have retention issues is, when at 30,000 miles it comes time for the first set of tires, consumers don’t think of the dealers. They go elsewhere.”

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