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Economy and Business


Potholes mean a boom business for the tire and auto-repair business
And customer relations developed over a pothole problem can pay off long-term
Story by KELSEY LEYVA AND M.L. SCHULTZE


 
Courtesy of Alan Stanton
Download (WKSU Only)

This year’s pockmarked roads have been brutal to suspensions, rims and tires – and very good to the auto repair business. 

Jim Smith is editor of Tire Review magazine and says the massive holes opening up in streets throughout the region have some repair shops doing such a brisk business that they’re running low on parts and tires. 

Overall, he says, the bad roads are good for repeat – as well as short-term – business. 

LISTEN: Potholes and tire repairs

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“The good thing for the tire shops is having the opportunity to see a customer again. People tend to go to the same place unless it’s a matter of absolute convenience, (such as) they’re stranded by the side of the road, those kinds of situations. But it gives the stores the opportunity to see the customer more often, maybe do some additional service work, perhaps spot some other damage that was done on the vehicle from hitting a pothole.” 

It’s too early for Goodyear and Bridgestone to report sales figures for the quarter that includes the most brutal of weather – and potholes. But Canadian Tire stores last month reported a 4 percent increase on same-store sales, and said overall sales were up 17 percent.

 

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