November '15

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12 The Shop November 2015 vehicle will look like after the wheels and tires have been purchased. As displays get costlier and take up a larger amount of space, we are exploring the use of video with select dealers. Videos provide the cus- tomer with a visual representation of the product, plus it shows the enjoyment that the customer will experience." As far as installation, he adds, "If the shop currently does not own one, it will need to purchase a good-quality tire changing machine." Hoodenpyle agrees on the showroom aspect, and adds another factor. "A good display of the wheels and tires you offer can really help a customer visu- alize the wheel or tire on their vehicle. Plus, we have found many customers still want to see and touch the product before they buy it." Sneddon notes that not only do outlets need a nice display area, but they may want to consider keeping some of the fastest movers in stock as well, requiring addi- tional warehouse space. "Shops should prepare to have tires and wheels on display in their showrooms," he recommends. "Consumers want to see and feel the products before making such a big investment. Popular stuff should be carried in stock, so you'll need a large amount of space. Access to hot shot delivery from your WD is key, because customers want it now." As far as work bay equipment, Schardt lists "a lift, tire machine and balancer. Tire machines and balancers can be expensive, but the labor you can charge on new and There's a lot to learn when it comes to choosing the proper wheel and tire combination for a specific car or truck. (Photo courtesy Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels) Wheels and tires are usually at the top of the list when accessorizing a vehicle. (Photo courtesy Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels) possibly used wheel and tire sales can pay for the machines very quickly." Look & Feel Our last challenge question was about how adding wheels and tires can affect other components on the vehicle, and what can shops do to alleviate any negative impacts for the customer. Hoodenpyle says it's about good com- munication with the buyer. "We've found that you have to make sure the customer understands the changes going to a larger tire and wheel can have on the ride and handling of their vehicle. The best way to solve that is to make sure you communicate with the customer and find out how they want the vehicle to look, and how that will change perfor- mance." There are certainly technical aspects that can be affected. "Pay careful attention to wheel offsets, load capacity, rolling weight, brake clear- ances and alignment," advises Sneddon. "Heavy wheels and tires may require a brake upgrade." The right-sized wheels and tires will make all the difference. "As long as the fitment is correct, it should not affect anything negatively," says Schardt. "An improper fitment can cause When it comes to wheels and tires, it's all about meeting a desire for something unique. (Photo courtesy WELD)

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