LAS VEGAS—Among the keys to success in the tire industry is a relentless focus on customers and their evolving needs, Pete Selleck, Michelin North America Inc. chairman and president, told those attending the Tire Industry Association's Awards Night Nov. 2 in Las Vegas.
“Brands are all about trust,” he said during his keynote address. “Your customers are willing to pay a premium if they trust that you're going to do the right thing all the time.”
However, customers are going to be changing. Millennials are not going to buy tires the same way that Baby Boomers do, Selleck pointed out.
“There's too much information out there. They know how to get the information. They want to buy it their way, and they are going to buy it their way,” he said.
“In the end, the consumer is going to dictate it. So we've got to really be tuned in and not think that the consumer of tomorrow is going to be the same as the consumer is today.”
Secondly, he said keeping safety is a huge priority for this industry. Keeping customers safe on the road with safe products and professional services is key.
“We need to be constantly educating people on the basics of tire safety,” Selleck said.
Whether that is the inflation pressure or what depth a tire should be, this information is not necessarily being taught at home, he said.
Lastly, companies need to meet the responsibilities they have to their community and to society at large, he added.
Selleck, also is head of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, used “evolution and the need to change and adapt as needed” as the theme of his presentation.
“(Michelin is) successful as a company because we constantly recognize what makes us good today is not what's going to make us good tomorrow,” he said.
Selleck also used his role as keynoter to point out some trends he said he thought will influence the economy in the U.S. and globally.
The U.S. economy has rebounded more strongly than other developed countries, he said, a situation he credited to cultural adaptability, innovation and less regulation.