Tire Town’s LaPlace track record built on service

Published 12:19 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

LAPLACE — Kevin Cates remembers shopping for tires when he was younger, guided solely by a desire to find the best deal for his travels.

A Fortune 500 financial executive at the time, Cates moved back home to New Orleans from Switzerland to devote more time to family, took on a job with an established tire dealer and quickly fell in love with the industry.

He and his wife Lori Cates now co-own Tire Town Auto Service at 421 Belle Terre Blvd. in LaPlace. Remembering how it feels to be a customer on the other end of the counter, the Cates family strives to provide competitive prices and tire options to fit any budget.

In addition to providing reliable tire brands and lower cost, quality alternatives, Tire Town functions as a one-stop shop for automotive repairs and maintenance work including but not limited to oil changes, alignments and brake and AC repair.

Pat Barbay works on a vehicle Thursday morning at Tire Town in LaPlace.

Since obtaining the LaPlace store, the third of four current Tire Town locations, in January 2017, Cates has worked to rebrand it to the community.

“The dealer that was here before us primarily sold Goodyear tires and had a reputation of being higher priced,” Cates said. “We’re trying to change that image and let people know we aren’t just Goodyear. Our business is based on choice and value, because we know people have other things they want to spend their money on.”

Tire Town performs regular price checks with competitive dealers, according to store manager Michelle Saucier.

“Customers always tell us we have the best prices,” Saucier said. “We hear that a lot.”

Cates said Tire Town is able to purchase inventory at a lower cost than competing businesses as a member of the Tire Alliance Groupe.

Price range of tires varies based on customer needs, starting at the low-end Vee Rubber series. The private brand Pantera is a strong option for customers on a budget with up to a 60,000-mile warranty.

Tire Town Auto Service is located at 421 Belle Terre Blvd. in LaPlace.

Well-known brands like Goodyear and Michelin are great choices because they are tried and tested in quality, Cates said.

Sales have been on a steady increase over the past 18 months, and Cates credits the growth to strength in service.

Store managers Saucier and Joni Roussel have a combined 50 years of experience in the industry and extensive knowledge on fitting a brand to a customer.

Roussel said Tire Town provides a friendly and honest atmosphere built on trust.

“I’ve lived here for so long,” Roussel said.

“What I get a lot is people saying, ‘I know you; I trust you.’”

According to Cates, the LaPlace Tire Town is more truck and SUV oriented than the Slidell, Gentilly and Picayune locations.

He’s planning a “Truck Yeah!” promotion for truck tires in the near future. Further down the line, Cates hopes to expand the LaPlace warehouse to hold inventory and continue scoping out new storefront locations.

Tire Town is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information, call 985-652-4063 or visit tiretownstores.com.