How about a set of tires under that Christmas tree?

A new survey by Hankook Tire America shows that many Americans would be happy to get tires as a present.

Hankook’s Winter Gauge Index showed that 84 percent of people would either like tires as a holiday gift or at least not mind receiving them from a loved one.

OK, at first blush it seems like a self-serving survey. But some dealers I talked to hadn’t considered promoting tires that way. Now they see ways to capitalize on the idea.

One Land Rover dealer tells me he has been pushing tires for the past year. He sees tire sales as a way to improve his service revenue after a big drop in his warranty work. And “it’s not a bad idea thinking of tires as a gift,” he adds.

“For years, when we were so crushed doing warranty repairs, tires were an afterthought. Now it’s key,” he says. “We may go out and put some ribbons on them now.”

I remember when my mom gave me a set of tires for my birthday a few years ago. She had bought the set from a local dealership. It was a meaningful gift -- the kind only someone who loves you would give you.

It’s also an opportunity. Promoting tires as a gift could be a way to win service business back from the independent shops.

Mom wouldn’t necessarily disagree. She always knows best.

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