Steve Sievert | Manager, Southern Tire Mart Harahan, Louisiana

Q&A with Allied Industry

Southern Tire Mart is a longtime member of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association and a major sponsor of events such as the annual Seafood Gala. The company has eight locations in Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Houma, Lafayette, Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport, Sulphur and Vidalia.

 

What type of business are you in? How did you get started in this business? How long have you been in this business?
We sell tires for the trucking industry and for commercial and industrial use. I got started in the business because I was unemployed and I needed a job 40 years ago. I had three kids at home. I had to do something.

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How long have you been a member of the LMTA? What do you see at the greatest value you/your company bring to the LMTA?
I’m thinking I’ve been a member for 25 or 26 years. We’re experts in what we do, we are the largest independently owned commercial tire dealer in the United States. Our mission is to help truckers reduce their costs. If we can reduce their costs, they will be our customer.

 

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What do you see as the greatest value you/your company receive as an LMTA member?
I’m learning all sorts of things about the trucking industry and the legislative issues that affect us. Southern Tire Mart supports the trucking industry because it’s our livelihood. I don’t specifically use the LMTA to make sales calls, that’s just Southern Tire Mart’s position.

 

What do you predict for the future of the trucking industry within your type of business?
What’s happening now for the first time in about 35 years is an influx of imported Chinese disposable tires. That’s giving us a tremendous challenge to figure out how to position ourselves for the future. For 10 years, our business has been based on selling truck tires and retreading them two or three times. It was cost effective and very safe for our customers. These disposable Chinese tires are priced 50 percent less than premium tires and they cannot be retreaded. We’re having to change our business model. What we’re finding is that in larger fleets, you can sit down and have a discussion on what’s best for them: is it price or durability? Smaller fleets might not have the financial ability to purchase premium tires at this time.

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What accomplishment are you most proud of in your relationship with the LMTA and the trucking industry in Louisiana?
Being elected secretary and being on the executive board. I consider it quite an honor.

 


 

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