We all get ‘off-roading", and now with the mega-popularity of CUVs along comes ‘soft-roading.’ Think of it as off-roading’s little brother or ‘light off-roading.’ Instead of a burly truck or Jeep, weekend adventurers are outfitting the family CUV for milder use on dirt roads or fields. Owners might start out with more aggressive tires before moving on to roof baskets, fog lighting (“Case I get caught in a swamp” Tony Montana) brush guards, and even a little 2 inch lift. Falken interviewed over 5,800 CUV owners and found “a well defined subset of crossover owners that use their vehicles for both daily driving and outdoor adventuring." Market research showed 75% of CUV drivers preferred a basic all-season tire. 25% would swing towards an all-terrain but when offered a mild A/T versus an aggressive one, it was 5 to 1 in favor of a mild A/T. ... "Once they fully understood those CUV consumers, they were able to develop tire technology, like the soon to be released Wildpeak A/T Trail to address their needs.” That soon is now. Trail A/Ts are currently arriving in our warehouses. Mild all-terrains with Falken’s trademark aggressive shoulders, 3 peak mountain snowflake, 65K warranty, road hazard protection, all specifically engineered for higher center of gravity CUVs. 
The Customer Experience

The new ‘word of mouth’ is driven by The Customer Experience. Customer experience, also known as CX, is your customers' holistic perception of their experience with your business or brand. CX is the result of every interaction a customer has with your business, from navigating the website to talking to customer service and receiving the product/service they bought from you. K&W’s General Manager John May just saw a real live grassroots version of how this works. He subscribes to a neighborhood e-bulletin board. Someone asked “Where is the best place to get your car inspected in Lancaster without breaking your bank account?” The recommendations came in hot and heavy. Some of these people are outright cheerleaders for their favorite shop. I’m sure we all strive to have such a following. I’ve been saving articles on how our dealers can improve their CX and I’ll start posting them. In the meantime, to see some of these shop referrals click HERE
Why did you buy ‘em there?

The August 2019 edition of Tire Review’s Source Book is stuffed with facts and figures on our business. Mostly ho-hum, but I did spot this gem. A nice big graph titled Consumer Study “Why did you purchase tires where you did?” They broke it down into 18 categories. Coming in at number 1 with 52% of respondents choosing was ‘Price, sale, discount, rebate.” From there the list goes on with convenient location, good past experience, fast service, yada yada... and then, at the very bottom of the list, with a whopping 7%, “Car was already there for service.” I knew it. These are the all-important cars that are on the rack for a state inspection or oil change and the dealer did his job and recommended tires. BUT ONLY 7 PERCENT. The other 93% are possibly cheating on their favorite mechanic and buying their tires from someone who is more aggressively marketing themselves as a great place to buy tires. For you automotive repair shop owners: Do most of your tire sales only occur when you happen to catch someone who is in for unrelated service? If that’s a ‘yes?’ Would you like to sell more of these good folks (the other 93%) their tires? Even when you don’t have them up on the rack? Well that’s where K&W comes in. We have tried and true methods to help shops that want to sell more tires and make more money doing it. Email me back or call 717.314.4949 and we’ll talk. And to see the whole list on ‘Why you bought them there’ click HERE
What do these machines have in common?  

Audi Q3, Jeep Gladiator, and Toyota RAV4. They've all recently picked Falken for original equipment supply. The Audi is getting a special fuel saving tire, the Jeep will be available with either AT3W all-terrains or Wildpeak M/Ts. Either way they’ll be LT285/70R17. As for the RAV4, 2020 TRD Off-Road models will be wearing a version of the new Wildpeak A/T Trail for mean looks and soft-roading bliss. See above...
Tire Academy Awards

And the award for Best New Tire in an Entry Level Role... oh my, it’s a three way tie! Thanks to your efforts the new Starfire lines are seeing explosive growth. The old SF510 did the job but was getting tired and the lack of newer sizes was taking a toll. Having more purposeful H/T and A/P lines with the best sizes has really given this segment a shot in the arm. And ramping it up even more is the Solarus AS. First introduced last summer it replaced both the RSC 2.0 and the SF340. Simpler, way better size complement, better looking, 50K warranty, Made in the USA, what’s not to like?  
Thank you for your continued support!

Jeff Short
VP of Sales