6 Tips to Enter Wheels & Tires

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Tips to enter wheels and tires market

“Economic uncertainty is right around the corner. At least that’s what we are being told, right?” Dan Bowman of Titan Motoring, TN  told dealers at a KnowledgeFest seminar last year. (Yes, that’s a while ago, but the information is still very pertinent).

“At election time we always see a little dip,” continued Bowman.  Given the best hedge against economic ups and downs is diversifying, Bowman and Titan CEO Philip Lindsley offered tips on expanding. Their first suggestion is to enter the wheels and tires segment.

A common objection is “I don’t want to get into something I may end up having trouble with,” said Lindsley.

The two addressed that and provided six basic tips for expanding into wheels and tires:

Tip 1-  Many wheels and tire brands are now MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) protected.  Just a few years ago, they weren’t. So you can be just as big as the others on the Internet because we all have to adhere to MAP.  It’s only a 15 minute sale.  Tires can be mounted, balanced and delivered with a 15 minute conversation. You can’t sell a remote start that quickly.   It can be done over a phone call.

Tip 2- Often in car audio we get caught up on margin.  If we don’t make a ton, we’re not interested in the category. “I don’t put percentages in the bank, I put money in the bank.   We only have a certain amount of time that we have techs in the shop. How do we fill that with money?” said Lindsley.

For a job with wheels plus Falken tires, plus lug kit, TPMS sensors, mounting and balancing you can charge $3,697 and net $1,074.20 in profit.

How to enter wheels and tires market

Tip 3- You can start with a used tire balancer. Top level tire equipment can cost north of $40 to $50K.  It’s $6K down and $350 a month for four years.  You only have to do two sets a month to cover the costs.  Or you can start with a used machine on eBay. A tire balancer is available for under $10K.  Titan started with a used tire balancer.

Tip 4-  Resources.  You and your customer can go to tirerack.com at your counter computer to pick out tires and you let the customer know you can sell it for the same price.  If Tire Rack has it, that means they’ve tested out the dimensions.  There are sizing guides that include load index, factory bolt pattern and thread fit with a subscription.  Also at wheel-size.com, you can type in a 2002 VW Beetle, factory wheel spec, and get the information.

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Tip 5-  Wheel Pros is everywhere.  Wheel Pro reps can answer your questions.  If you use these resources [see Tip 4] your chances of having a problem are typically slim to none. “And with the amount of income you put into your building and filling dead space plus bringing in customers, chances are you are doubling or significantly increasing income,” said Bowman.

Tip 6- Leveling kits. We stick with a company called Ready Lift. You charge full MSRP, labor plus alignment and that ends up being an $800 to $1,000 sale. If you do one leveling kit per week plus a tire package that’s $227,939 revenue with $80K gross profit a year based on a current F150.

Distributors for wheels and tires include Meyer, ATD, Wheel Pros, Turn14 etc.

Titan presented tips on other categories as well.  Lindsley said,  “If you are not seeing growth in your numbers you are not operating in the right categories.  If you are super passionate about DSP then by all means keep going that way. But at the end of it, we want more customers in the stores.  We want them to spend more and one day, when its time for their kids to come in, we want them as well. So offer everything.”

Titan Motoring was named ME Magazine’s Expediter of the Year 2023 and 2024, and Retailer of the Year 2024 (single store). Dan Bowman was named Sales Pro of the Year 2023.

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. We have been asked to revisit the additional revenue streams subject at Knowledgefest in Nashville. Come see us!

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