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TPMS tools: Turn a dash light into a profit center
Tire Review
With profit margins on retail tires continuing to fall, many dealers have been casting about for ways to make up that loss. What about leveraging the sales and service of TPMS sensors and components as a legitimate profit center? While the replacement of service kits is undeniably a small-ticket item, it is also a remarkably consistent necessity, bringing in a constant flow of profit and helping build stronger, loyal relationships with customers. As well, sales of replacement sensors are poised to increase by orders of magnitude as the batteries in first-generation OE sensors reach the end of their lifetimes. You need to be poised to take advantage of these two trends.
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Online reviews, the good and the bad
Tire Business
The online reviews arena can be tough. There are quite a few websites out there and it might seem overwhelming to keep track of them all. However, with these sites, the consumer has a lot of power in their hands. It is not just one customer with a bad experience about a product, service provider or retailer telling everyone they know. It's that one customer having the ability to tell a mass of strangers searching for service reviews online. In a mere few seconds, your business could get blasted — and if you're not paying attention, what does that mean for your business?
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The year is half over and auto recalls have broken record
With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the U.S. than in any other year on record. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists U.S. recalls for 37.5 million cars this year, topping the 30.8 million record set in 2004, according to the most recent preliminary data today on the agency’s website. General Motors Co. accounts for about two-thirds of the total.
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Consumer Reports executive talks tires
Rubber News
There is no such thing as a perfect tire, according to Eugene A. Petersen, tire program manager of the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut. But most tires are good, and some are very good indeed. "'Who makes the best tire?' is a popular media question, and it's not that easy to answer," said Petersen. But with its annual comparison tests, Consumer Reports magazine tries its best to answer that question.
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US small business borrowing jumps in May
U.S. small businesses boosted borrowing for a third straight month in May, driving the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index to its highest in more than seven years, according to recent data released. The increase suggests small business owners continue to see demand rising and are investing in their firms. It was the highest level since March 2007, and the third highest level on record.

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RMA focusing on tire repair education — not legislation
Tire Business
The Rubber Manufacturers Association is not pursuing tire repair legislation in the states this year but is focusing more on public education about proper tire repair, according to Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president of public affairs.

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Reeling in tire sales
Modern Tire Dealer
Wayne Williams writes, "There is no escaping, once you are in the tire business, you're pursued by the tire paparazzi. Neighbors, friends and family are constantly asking about tires; you are at a restaurant, the grocery store, watering your front yard, you can't get away from it."

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Loyalty without points
For every brand a consumer is truly passionate about, that same person is probably equally dispassionate about 20, 30 or more brands that have fleeting, transactional, impersonal roles in that consumer's life. A brand's perception of loyalty must take into account both ends of that spectrum, both the passionate fans and the transactional consumers. Too often, branded loyalty programs focus on incentives like points, membership tiers and discounts that might motivate transactional consumers but are likely wasted on passionate fans.
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Plug-in promise charging infrastructure
Tire Business
Tire dealers who like to stay on top of the latest market trends may want to consider installing a charging station in their shops as an added customer service for the growing number of electric vehicles (EV) in the U.S. vehicle parc. Sales of plug-in EVs in the U.S. jumped 35 percent through the first five months of 2014 to 43,480 units, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). This raises the number of plug-in EVs registered to about 211,097.
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Retread your way to prosperity
Imagine the frustration of a retread tire vendor. He or she has proven money-saving products, yet half the industry won't even look at them because of a bad experience they had 20 years ago with maybe a poor quality and probably poorly maintained retreaded tire. What if some of the largest and most sophisticated fleets in the country took that approach? Can you imagine UPS or Ryder, for example, not using retreads?
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    TIA issues stormwater best practices (Modern Tire Dealer)
Female tire repair specialist leads a thriving career (Tire Review)
Study: Yes, there are benefits of offering free WiFi (Small Business Trends)
Will your car one day capture all its carbon emissions? (Green Car Reports)
AAA: Fourth of July travel rises 1.9 percent (USA Today)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Lisa Smith, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2644 
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