Ace Tire (finally) opens Poway store
By Peijean Tsai
The newest location of Ace Tire Centers may be the sixth to open, but that doesn’t mean owner Steve Williams wasn’t eyeing Poway from the start.
Williams, a Poway resident for 10 years, has been scouting sites in the area for years, hoping to land a spot in his own community. This June, he and business partner Mark Pugh finally made that goal a reality when they opened the newest Ace Tire Centers site at 12255 Poway Road (858-391-0288, www.ace-tire.com).
“We are excited to be here,” said Williams, who co-owns six Ace Tire Centers with Pugh across San Diego County, including Poway.
In November 2007, the pair opened the first location of Ace Tire Centers in Lemon Grove. They subsequently opened centers in Kearny Mesa, Point Loma, Chula Vista and El Cajon. During those five years, they continued to try in Poway.
“When we first decided to start a company, we started in Poway,” said Pugh, who has worked with Williams for 35 years. “We kept negotiating on deals, and other locations came up. We ended up with five others before we ever got here.”
The independently owned Ace Tire Centers are complete automotive care service centers, offering full maintenance, including: oil changes, tune ups, and service on shocks, struts, belts, hoses, brakes, heating and cooling systems, and more. The center works on all vehicle brands, and sells tires and wheels on site.
Ace Tire Centers has thrived due to high customer satisfaction, Williams said. The focus on customer service means delivering quality work by ASE-certified (Automotive Service Excellence) technicians, as well as highly competitive prices for services and products, he continued.
“We understand our customers, what their wants and needs are,” Williams said.
But the extra touches set Ace Tire Centers apart. A free shuttle is offered to customers for local pick-up and drop-off. Ace Tire Centers also offers free one-year roadside assistance to anyone who purchases a service (including an oil change). This can come in handy for lockouts or when towing or flat tire service is needed.
“I don’t call this a job; I never have in all my years,” said Williams. “I like dealing with people and figuring out situations where everybody comes out a winner.”
Building relationships with customers is important, Pugh said, noting that people come to know the management staff well.
“We believe in informing the customer to make proper decisions without a pressured atmosphere,” Pugh said. “We create an environment that customers can trust.”
All tire brands are available, including Michelin, Hankook, Goodyear and Bridgestone. The center offers alignment services on site, making Ace Tire Centers a “one-stop shop,” Williams said, rather than having to go elsewhere for an alignment after installing new tires.
Ace Tire Centers offers senior and military discounts. Customers can also pay in installments through GE Capital’s CarCareONE Financing Program. Enrollees can enjoy no interest for six months and 10 percent off their first purchase when opening an account at Ace Tire Centers.
As part of its community service efforts, Ace Tire Centers is currently offering a free oil change to customers who bring in five cans of pet food or write a $5 check to the Helen Woodward Animal Center. The food is given to low-income seniors with pets through a Helen Woodward program.
Ace Tire Centers also regularly organizes a year-end holiday food drive. The business has collected over 10,000 pounds of food each of the past four years to donate to local food banks.
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