‘Service’ stressed by new Big O Tires head

Big O Tires, 10800 Kingston Pike just outside of Farragut, has changed hands with a focus on neighborly service.

John Solarz, who is in the hotel industry in Sevierville, branched out and purchased this local franchise June 1, which also includes stores along Cedar Bluff Road and Callahan Drive.

“He always wanted to get into the tire and automotive business because he has a servant’s heart,” said Ron Seagle, general manager of the three Big O Tire stores in the franchise. “When you think about it, it’s all hospitality.

“On the tire and automotive side, people simply want to do business with folks who are in their neighborhood — neighborly — most people want to shop within a 5-mile radius of where they live,” Seagle added. “We just want to be the neighborhood car care provider of choice.”

Seagle, having been in the hospitality business most of his life, wants “to bring to the community a tire and automotive service center where people feel like they’re coming home,” he said. “He wants to make people feel that we’re doing business in a convenient manner and also a trustworthy manner. We hope to bring a greater sense of community to the store.. We hope to be involved in the community more so than in the past.”

That outreach includes providing some safe driving classes at Farragut High School, and eventually at Bearden High School.

“We have the ability to hold classes that involve teaching children how to change flat tires for themselves,” Seagle said.

“We have the ability to teach children how to check the air pressure in their tires, and we also have ladies’ car care clinics.

“We’ll have a wider breadth of services that include complete car care, meaning brakes, alignments, oil changes, diagnostics, as well as tires and wheel alignments,” he added.

Looking ahead, “One of the other things we’ll be doing is we’ll be bringing in more than 50 brands of tires with us,” Seagle said.

Growing up in Knoxville and attending the University of Tennessee, Seagle spent 35 years with the Bridgestone Corporation before joining Solarz and his team a year-and-a-half ago, when they opened the Callahan Drive store.

Seagle said Solarz chose the Big O Tires near Farragut because there already was an existing Big O Tires franchise at that location where the prior owner wanted to retire.

“So, the opportunity became available to acquire the store,” he added.

The store is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays; and closed on Sundays.

This location will hold a ribbon cutting, hosted by Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce, at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 17.

For more information, call 865-672-6391. To schedule an appointment, visit online at bigotires.com