Survey says...
Last newsletter we asked for your input on “low priced import tires.” Here’s the question: Entry level, opening price point, cheap stuff, whatever you call them. Our lowest priced tires carry the Westlake brand and we can’t help but notice they are HARDLY EVER returned FOR ANYTHING. Last week I was speaking with our Chester PA distribution center manager Ken Roberts and he was wondering about entry level tires in general. We know they balance up nicely but do they stop in the wet? Do they deliver good treadlife? The results are in:

17% They don’t come back because of PRICE 
20% Overall poor, not much better than used
14% They suck in the rain
20% They are just OK
17% They are delivering treadwear right up there with all the big brands
6% Incredible traction and performance
6% Honestly these are great. No need to ever buy Tier 1 again

To frame this up, looks like 51% of our responding dealers think the big brands have nothing to worry about, 20% are on the fence, and 29% think the upstarts are winning the fight against the big brands. Thanks for participating.
Need help finding techs?

We hear that many of you do. I subscribe to newsletters from Bob Cooper whose business, Elite Worldwide offers shop management training. He gives some pretty straight up advice and his latest issue is titled 7 Employee Recruiting Tips That Work.  You might want to join his new Facebook group called Shop Owners Helping Shop Owners. I have not seen the material on there as I’m not a shop owner. To see the Recruiting Tips click HERE.  
Cooper announces new Starfire lines

The old SF-510 lines have been put out to pasture and are being replaced by two much better offerings. First we have the Solarus HT.  A cost effective highway tread that will deliver much longer wear than the 510. Cooper had not been updating 510 sizing and this has now been addressed.  Solarus HT has nearly 50% more modern sizes. Next up is the Solarus AP - AP for ‘all-purpose.’ Think of it as a mild all-terrain. Again a massive array of new sizes for a 75% increase in market coverage.  Both HT and AP come in SUV and light truck sizes and both carry a 50K mile treadwear warranty. For you Medallion dealers - Starfires count towards your units and Cooper is paying an introductory $2 per tire on the new Solarus HT and AP until the end of 2019. 

Purple Heart - NEXEN Hero 

NEXEN has partnered with the Purple Heart Foundation. This organization raises money to fund programs and services across the country to support veterans and their families. They pick a Purple Heart Medal recipient to honor with a cool customized vehicle and promote the organization. This years NEXEN Hero is Army Master Sgt. Brian Porter. NEXEN reports, “Porter’s military career spanned nearly three decades, and more than half spent with special forces. He volunteered for the elite 75th Ranger Regiment and completed the Special Forces Qualification Course to earn the U.S. Army’s coveted Green Beret. In 2004 during his second combat tour in Iraq, Porter was returning to base after a combat operation in Fallujah when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated under his vehicle. Not only did the IED explosion spawn an ambush of the convoy, Porter absorbed the full impact of the explosion to his face, resulting in a near-death experience. After multiple surgeries to restore his ability to eat and breathe on his own without assistance, Porter courageously returned to active service to rejoin his unit. Porter completed two additional tours to Iraq before retiring in 2013. The injuries sustained by the IED explosion has required more than 33 surgeries and for his actions in combat, and Porter was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. He continues to serve the country as a civilian role as an Exercise Planner for the United States Army.” To see a video of Sgt. Porter receiving his prize and learn more click HERE .

Caption this

Saturday morning I’m chugging over to York to check out the Good Guys Rod & Custom show in my old ‘67 Firebird when it starts to spit rain. Hmmmm, the weather app said no rain. I double checked. Gotta, cause I’m on bias-ply cheater slicks. J60-15’s. Nearly 600 foot pounds of torque, ancient tires with no sipes... and then it starts pouring! Now I didn’t panic... what’s the next level, right below panic? Fear, fright, trepidation, dread, terror... one of those. I’m no Brian Porter so I slowed down to about 40, held the wheel real easy, and kept my right foot very steady. I waited for the spin that never happened. Luckily, my dash camera recorded my smooth technique. Thank Heavens for modern tires, you wouldn’t want to have to live like this. 

K&W SuperPrize time:

Best three captions win Semi-Fabulous K&W SuperPrizes. No rush, we’ll hold off on voting for 5 days. Oh yeah, extra bonus if you know where the pic really came from. Thanks for playing along!

Thank you for your continued support!

Jeff Short
VP of Sales