Roadmaster Steers the Way!

Guess how long it takes Cooper to design and test an all new premium steer tire? If you said ‘about 3 years’ you’re correct. Cooper’s new RM832 steers are flowing into warehouses now. They’re big and beefy with a 5 rib tread pattern and decoupling grooves. Cooper benchmarked Michelin’s X Line Energy Z, as many consider it to be the best of the best. Part of the reason they took three years to debut, was Cooper’s goal to make sure they wore evenly and looked great at the end of their lifespan. That took a fair amount of R&D time testing in the real world, but they know that goes a long way with fleet owners. Testing shows the RM832 consistently racking up 140,000 miles. For more on the story, click here.

New Falkens. Finally.

Those crazy kids at Falken have been teasing us with spy shots of their new tires for almost two years. But now the wait is over. You’ve already heard about the new WildPeak A/T Trail for macho CUVs, now say hi to the ZIEX ZE960 A/S. It replaces the hot selling (but quick wearing) ZE950 high performance all-season line. The 960 carries the full suite of Falken’s new technologies to up the treadlife ante (65k mile warranty) and increase traction.

Short’s tire law states: Aggressive looks sell. You know guys that really need H/T tires end up with A/T tires? And people that should buy A/T tires really want R/T tires? And gals that R/T tires would do the job are happier with a set of M/Ts? Yes it’s a thing. Falken correctly read the market and sales soared when they came out with their AT3W. The M/T looking upper sidewall sold itself. The old H/T01 was just your basic mild mannered highway tire. I’ve had more than a few people say to me, “I need an H/T tire but I don’t want it to look wimpy, like a minivan tire.” Wanna sell way more? Put that AT3W shoulder on an all new super heavy duty H/T package and you have an instant winner. Falken’s Drew Howlett says, “We didn’t want to develop another typical highway terrain tire, we wanted to build a tire that could support the most powerful and capable trucks on the road today. That’s why all LT sizes of the H/T02 were rigorously tested and developed using the latest 3/4-ton diesel pickups. We pushed our heavy-duty construction to the limits, so as a testament to the H/T02’s toughness and durability, all LT-size offerings feature the ‘HD’ badge on the tire’s sidewall.” The WildPeak H/T02 comes with a 70,000-mile tread life warranty (50,000 miles for HD sizes) and Falken’s Road Hazard Protection. I believe this new look is going to move a lot of rubber. All that goodness plus Fanatic dealers will earn double rewards on all three new lines all through Q4.

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


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

Internet Tire Education

“I read it online…” or “I’ve been doing my research…” Sound familiar? Our friend Andy Torres from Wilson Tire in Lebanon NH relays the following story: “I actually had a customer share this website with me thinking he was making an informed decision based on empirical data requesting the top ranked tire on this list. Interestingly, the Cooper Starfire RS-C 2.0 fell in at number 7 on this list, and also at number 3…” If your customers stumble across Auto Quarterly for their tire research, like Andy’s did, you’ll be in for some deprogramming. Apparently this bastion of higher learning does not know the difference between a wheel and a tire. But that doesn’t stop them from making specific recommendations. Here’s a sample quote: “your drive may not be as quiet in some cases. Why? After a couple of miles they may give off a bad vibration. If you increase your vehicle speed be prepared to experience a bit of shaking. And as time goes on the rattling sound may intensify—even after rotation.” And this is from one of their top 10 rated tires. For a good laugh and some general nonsense read their Top 10 tire reviews by clicking HERE.

I guess you have to figure that whatever consumers think they know, will need some exploring. And if you’re one of those that says, “I get them whatever they want…” well – they are your customers, you might need to protect them from themselves. Thanks Andy!

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