“Getting to the Know the WTC” (Wheel & Tire Council) provides a glimpse into the challenges and opportunities confronting the wheel and tire segment of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. By reaching out to WTC retailers across the United States, the council is better poised to continue its efforts to build programs and services that deliver tangible benefits where the rubber meets the road.
Capital Original Wheels
Name: Norman Huniu
Year Established: 1955
Location: Gardena, California
Focus: Buy, sell and refinish OE wheels; powdercoating, steel wheels and take-offs
Top Challenge: Internet pricing
Opportunities: Creating a user-friendly digital format for online customers. Huniu has continued the vision of his father: “The importance of customer satisfaction, of goal setting, looking to the future and striving for perfection.”
Extreme Performance Wheels LLC
Name: Chris Manning
Position: General Manager
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Focus: High-end luxury vehicles
Top Challenge: Balancing a customer’s discretionary spending with the selling and servicing of quality products.
Opportunities: Painting OE wheels.
Name: Jason Rushforth
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Focus: Pro Touring musclecars, which has been a heavily emerging market for the last 10 years and continues to
Top Challenge: Inventorying enough raw materials to build the diversity of wheels to meet consumer demand.
Opportunities: Late-model musclecars and rear-wheel-drive sports cars.
Fountain Valley Garage
Name: Paul Dickerson
Year Established: 2007
Location: Fountain Valley, California
Focus: Tires, general automotive repair and accessory sales
Top Challenge: Market competitiveness (how consumers shop for products) and diminishing profit margins.
Opportunities: Understanding consumer perceptions in terms of pricing. Earning the trust of customers by delivering superior knowledge and service so that you can become their full-service automotive destination. Understanding market competitiveness and meeting the consumers’ expectations.
Wheels Onsite (no photo)
Name: Brian Dean
Year Established: 2008
Location: Sterling, Virginia
Focus: Wheel reconditioning, servicing the insurance and collision industry
Top Challenge: The proliferation of manufacturers distributing wheels to Internet re-sellers.
Opportunities: Sales, service and knowledge will always provide a distinct advantage to the discerning customer. Consumers are still spending money on high- and low-end wheels. Either they want luxury wheels or low-cost alternatives. The middle ground is hurting.