GREENVILLE — When Grant Hole walked through the new Belle Tire facility, one of Greenville’s biggest businesses to move in along M-57 since perhaps Walmart, his son, Kevin, could see he was mighty impressed.
“Dad thought he had the ‘latest and greatest’ back in his day,” said Kevin Hole, who is the assistant manager at Belle Tire, which opened Aug. 31.
Kevin remembers working at his father’s tire business, Superior Tire, which started in Greenville in 1971 and closed after Grant retired in 1996.
Reflecting on those days, both father and son admit things have definitely changed a lot since then.
“The technology has changed so much since my dad’s days,” Hole said. “But customer service, being customer friendly, has really changed, too That’s why we have set up these individual laptop pods with WiFi and did away with the standard service desk so we can be as pleasant to our customers as possible.”
The Greenville facility is Belle Tire’s 86th retail store location and, according to Greenville Belle Tire Manager Ryan Kovich, who has been with the company for six years, it’s easily the best one in Michigan.
“This building’s design is one of a kind and we have more state of the art equipment here,” said Kovich, who is from Lowell.
“And the spot we’re at, a high-traffic area and being right next to Meijer, we couldn’t ask for a better spot.”
Equipped with 10 bays and the latest technology in tires (with 3,000 tires in stock), custom wheels and auto service, Belle Tire boasts great service with a 45-minute turn-around time for a typical alignment and work on four tires.
“It’s a Michigan-based, family-oriented business that gives competitive service with the most sophisticated equipment,” Hole said. “We had a great opening day and the community and customers have been amazing already.”
The business is currently staffed with many employees from Belle Tire’s Grand Rapids locations for the time being, until Kovich and Hole hire on more local workers. Twenty positions are expected to be filled by local workers.
“It’s encouraging to be able to add jobs to the area, but it’s even more encouraging to bring in local guys here, where they can work, learn and expand their skills, be it an auto tech or auto glass expert,” Kovich said.
Candy Kerschen, Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce co-director, believes Belle Tire is a great addition to the Greenville area for its service, new jobs and more.
“Twenty new jobs is always good for the local economy,” Kershen said. “An additional benefit of having a larger, widely recognized chain like Belle Tire is that they attract consumers from outside of Greenville, bringing new traffic to locally owned gas stations, restaurants, and shops. At its core, economic development is based on bringing dollars in from outside of a community. Normally we think of this in terms of manufacturing, where we produce a product here, and sell it to customers throughout the U.S. and the world; but the same can be said, on a smaller scale, of services provided by chain establishments like Belle Tire.”
Belle Tire provides a variety of auto service needs, which include tires, custom wheels, alignments, brakes, batteries, oil changes, shocks and struts, windshield repair and replacement.
“Belle Tire is thrilled to create new jobs and to provide another option for tire and automotive service to the Greenville community,” said Don Barnes III, vice president of retail operations. “We think the new store’s location lends it to convenient vehicle service and look forward to meeting the residents of Greenville and the surrounding communities.”
Belle Tire, located at 1525 West Washington St., is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call (616) 225-1700 for more information.