is the only franchise opportunity that offers sales, service,
rent to own and wheel repair.
Dale Ingram, CEO, Wheel Workz
|Memphis, Tennessee based
Wheel Workz is
offering RTO industry entrepreneurs the opportunity to
capitalize on the exploding rent-to-own and retail
custom wheel market.
Americans spent nearly $7 billion
dollars on custom wheels and other accessories to improve the
appearance of their vehicles in 2005. Memphis, Tennessee based
Wheel Workz is offering
RTO industry entrepreneurs the opportunity to capitalize on the
exploding rent-to-own and retail custom wheel market.
"The automotive rent-to-own industry represents nearly the same
market percentage as computer rent-to-own or about 4.7%," says
Dale Ingram, CEO of Wheel Workz. "The potential for growth is
tremendous." Ingram said the company is aggressively seeking RTO
dealers for franchise area development agreements nationwide.
Prime Time Group Inc., an investment group with holdings in
areas as diverse as wireless phone service to oil and gas,
recently purchased development agreements for the state of
Florida as well as the Caribbean, Brazil, Panama, Argentina and
story). The company said in May of this year it planned to
open as many as 50 Wheel Workz franchise locations in Florida.
"We're doing what it takes to get stores open," said Ingram.
"Wheel Workz is the only franchise opportunity that offers
sales, service, rent to own and wheel repair. Wheel repair opens
the door to do service work on all cars, not just not just the
cars with custom wheels."
Wheel Workz carries custom wheels for all vehicle types
including high end cars like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, BMW
and Mercedes. The company takes pride in being the choice for
professional athletes and stars. Wheel Workz new slogan is -
"Where the athletes and stars bring their cars."
For franchise information, contact
Wheel Workz at
10 Questions for Tommy Crenshaw; founder and
president of Wheel Workz
Re-printed from the March 2007 issue
of RTO Magazine, the
rent to own industry's leading trade publication.
Q: When did you first open Wheel Workz and how did you
transition from the retail sale of tires and wheels to rental
tires and wheels?
A: I started The Wheel Connection in 1992 and brought
investors into the business in 1998. We attempted to grow
through corporate-owned stores and were not successful. I took
back control of the company in 2000 and changed the name to
Wheel Workz. We first ventured into the rental concept in
Q: What percent of your business is retail versus rental?
A: Currently, 75% of our business is retail and 25% is
Q: When did you realize renting tires and wheels was not
just possible, but profitable?
A: I first became aware of renting tires and wheels in
the mid-1990’s and although it caught my interest, I did not
pursue it then. We run a large retail operation and I
implemented the rental concept as a solution to declining retail
profit margins and as a way to help move obsolete inventory.
Q: How difficult is it to find the right employees? How
much training is involved to become proficient with
A: I have to admit that the one key obstacle to running a
profitable business today is hiring and retaining the right
employees. We offer our salespeople unlimited earning potential,
they are paid commission on the gross profit dollars they
generate. It takes a good 2-4 months for a new retail
salesperson to get comfortable with the different applications
and plus sizing. On the installation side, we invest in the very
best high end tire and wheel mounting and balancing equipment.
Our technicians take a lot of pride in getting the installation
done right the first time. We are well known for our ability to
correct problems caused by improper installations at some of the
lower end rim shops.
Q: Describe your best potential rental customers...
A: Our best potential rental customer is a customer who
really wants to purchase a tire and wheel package but does not
have the $2-3,000 cash up front. They usually have a little bit
of money saved up and we put them into a rental agreement or 120
days same as cash.
Q: What makes Wheel Workz different?
A: It is a “wheel rental bandwagon”; the customer who
wants 28’s on his Hummer is a cash customer! Wheel Workz is a
little different from the rent to own stores in our ability to
draw the high end consumer. We are known as the place “where the
athletes and stars bring their cars”. We service all makes and
models and specialize in the ability to make these vehicles ride
right on any tire and wheel package. We also offer wheel repair
and original equipment wheels for sale at discounts up to 80%
from dealer list price.
Q: Like any item that is purchased based on appearance,
wheels must have trends. What wheel and tire trends are you
following for the next year or two?
A: For the next few years the trend will continue to be
larger and larger wheel diameters. We see the mainstream
customer going up to 22” or 24” as the largest size. There are
some customers going 26” and larger, but we will focus on the
24” and smaller market. We do a lot of black and chrome and
custom colors and chrome and see this market segment growing as
the customer wants a look that no one else has, a look that he
can feel is his own.
Q: Is your eBay store profitable? Could you ever find a
way to rent wheels or tires via the internet?
A: Our E-Bay store was set up to liquidate obsolete
inventory and was not meant to be profitable. When you carry the
amount of inventory that we do, obsolete or old inventory is
always a problem. I do not see a way to rent tires and wheels
through the internet. You want to see that customer in your
store every week or two to monitor their payment ability and
also look at their vehicle for any potential problems.
Q: What are your plans to franchise the Wheel Workz
A: We opened our first franchise store in January of this
year and hope to have ten stores under wrap by the end of 2007.
We definitely lean towards quality instead of quantity and want
to make sure that the Wheel Workz name is associated with the
best place to buy or rent tires and wheels.
Q: Describe your dream vehicle – wheels, rims and all.
A: Wow, that’s a tough one! I am a car nut, and I’m
blessed with the cars I have now and I get to accessorize and
drive exotic cars every day. Not many people get to do what they
really enjoy doing and make a living at it. I have a Dodge
Magnum RT dropped on 24’s and a Chevy Avalanche with a 6” lift
on 20’s with 35” tall mud tires. I have owned several Porsches,
the last being a 1998 Carrera C4S. My dream car is the new Dodge
Challenger concept car. I grew up with a 1970 Dodge Challenger
convertible and wish I could find it now. That new Challenger
might just fulfill that wish!
RTO Online is the official channel for Rent-to-Own Industry News and the
only independent source of news for the rent-to-own, rental-purchase,
lease-purchase trade. RTO Online (Rent to Own Online) represents the choice
of the entire RTO Industry for trusted information, as it happens.
Tell us what you think
Rate the article at the top of this page