THE STORY SO FAR
Belle Tire was founded in 1922 by Sam Waze, with the first location on Grand River Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Sam named his business after his wife, Belle. For more than 90 years, family-owned Belle Tire has been a staple in the communities where it does business throughout Michigan, northern Ohio and Indiana. The family-owned business has more than 2,000 employees and 100 retail locations, offering the best tire selection and auto service throughout the region.
THE LEGACY CONTINUES
Belle Tire's commitment to family and its hometown roots continues to be at the forefront of its business model. Today under the continued leadership and guidance of the Barnes family, we are building a national brand with heart. And we’re so glad you want to be part of the journey!
“It was during that time when all the potholes were really bad in Michigan. There were four or five cars in a row that all hit the same pothole and blew a tire and had to pull over to the side of the road. One of our guys stopped and went from car to car and put all the spares on.”
“We get at least a dozen hand-written thank you notes a year because an employee – whether it be a tire tech or a sales person – pulls up behind someone on the side of the road and checks to see if are they okay. Our guys just say ‘Let me help,’ and they pop the trunk open, lower the spare, and have them back on the road in a few minutes.”
“They’re doing this off the clock. They’re doing it because they see someone that needs help, not because they think they could earn any more money or bonuses. It’s not even related to us! They’re just saying ‘Hey, I’m here to take care of you.’”
Dave LaBounty Director of Retail OperationsHired in 1995
“In western Michigan, in the last six weeks of the year, we get really super busy because of the snow, and stores are packed with deliveries. It gets near impossible for stores to unload all their tires from the trucks every day because the stores are so busy. So what Scott Clayton, the Director of Retail Operations, would do is he would follow the delivery truck from store to store and he would unload the tires. Then he’d turn around and say ‘Alright, I’ll meet you at the next one.’”
Leo Zannetti Senior Category Manager-TiresHired in 1988
“From the top down, if we want our team to perform at a 10, we’ve got to be at a 15. And I think one thing that has been tried and true to Belle Tire forever is that we come in hot all the time. We’ve got our foot on the gas all the time. We can never let up. We get ‘er done. We always think about how we say yes before we say no, because we never say no.”
“And that’s for our team members as well. We’re always asking input from the stores and have stores calling us because they know we’re always listening. They collaborate with us and share ideas – ‘What about this, what’s that about?’ It really shows throughout the whole company that we’re always trying to find a better way.”
John Szeliga Senior Director of Retail OperationsHired 1994
“It was late in the day on a Saturday. Our sales guy, Damani Powers, was helping a woman and her small child after a tire blow-out. She didn’t have a spare or the money to buy a new one, so Damani actually called our competitor down the street to see if they had any better prices. When he couldn’t find her a tire there, he just gave her a new tire for free and they went on their way.
“He calls me first thing Monday morning and told me what he did, and I said, ‘Damani, why did you do that?’ He said, ‘Because if it was my wife and kid, stranded 20 miles from home, I would hope somebody would do that for me.’ Then he asked me if he was going to get into trouble. And I said, ‘Damani, you will never, ever, ever get in trouble for doing the right thing. It’s OK. You’ll never get in trouble for that.’”
Mike Frederick Senior Category Manager-WheelsHired in 1992
“You know, we go through our crazy period in the wintertime and every year, without fail, you’ll see our boys staying until 11:00 at night to get it all done. They’re working three, four, five, six hours after closing time just to get our people back on the road. There are some team members who have even loaned their cars to customers. No one told them to, they just did it because it was the right thing to do.”
Scott Clayton Director of Retail OperationsHired in 1987
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