Meet the Michael Jordan of the Tire Industry - aftermarketNews

Meet the Michael Jordan of the Tire Industry

In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, get to know the “Michael Jordan of the Tire Industry.” No, he’s not 6-foot-6 with six playoff rings, but he is the largest car dealer in the state of Florida. That man is Larry Morgan, chairman of Morgan Family Ventures, a high-growth group of companies spanning multiple industries. Why is he the “Michael Jordan of the Tire Industry?” Well, because he’s the GOAT – one of the greatest tire dealers of all time, according to his friend, Johnny g (aka John Gamauf). But, let’s let his record speak for itself.

Larry got his start as store manager at Firestone after being a part of the company’s elite management training class of 1965. Years later, he would invest “every single dime” he had to purchase 30 locations of Don Olson Tire, with the help of Firestone Tire. In less than 10 years, he’d grow it to 600 locations of Tires Plus across the country.

Since then, he’s gotten out of the tire business and now owns 47 car dealerships as part of Morgan Auto Group, in addition to a construction management company, a real estate holding agency and others. Along the way, he’s molded himself into a philanthropist that gives back in the Tampa Bay community.

When Johnny g met Larry, he was on the path to becoming a business mogul as the CEO of Merchant’s Tire. Since then, the two have been through the ups and downs of the industry—and life—together.

In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, hear how Larry grew Tires Plus to a 630-location tire dealership, the challenges along the way, and like MJ, how he switched careers to become the largest car dealer in the Sunshine State. You’ll also hear about:

  • Larry’s start in the industry and the story of his first tire sale, which totaled $20 [1:00]
  • Larry’s time as CEO at Merchant’s Tire, which he grew to more than 100 locations [4:09]
  • How Larry set out on his own and “put every single dime” on the line to acquire Don Olson Tire, which he expanded to 600+ locations of Tires Plus across the country [5:13]
  • What Larry believes was the key factor in the success of Tires Plus and how he became known as “Recall Larry” among his team as they navigated the Ford-Firestone recall [7:42]
  • Why Larry sold Tires Plus stores to Bridgestone-Firestone [10:47]
  • How Larry entered the new car dealer market and the similarities and differences between owning tire stores and auto centers [12:29]
  • The success of Morgan Auto Group, which is on track to generate $4.5 billion this year, and what Larry enjoys most about his role as the group’s chairman [14:22]
  • Larry’s memories with Johnny g, including the time they both spent with Walter Payton, considered one of the greatest American football players in history [16:25]
  • Johnny g’s cancer scare at the age of 36 and how Larry dropped everything to be there for his friend [20:35]
  • Achieving work-life balance and how Larry and Johnny g handled their friendship while maintaining their competitive edge in their respective positions [22:23]

Watch the full episode above or subscribe to Johnny g & Friends on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Spotify and Spreaker.

Look for more episodes of Johnny g & Friends the first Tuesday of every month here.

You May Also Like

AMN Year in Review: Top Distribution News of 2022

This episode of the AMN Year in Review is sponsored by Raybestos.

We continue our annual AMN Year in Review series for 2022. In this third video in the series, AMN Editor Amy Antenora and Multimedia Senior Editor Nadine Battah, recap the 10 most popular distribution news stories featured on AMN in the past year. This episode of the AMN Year in Review is sponsored by Raybestos.

Adopting an Athlete’s Mindset in Business with Craig Tate

Teamwork is key to running a successful business, and no one knows that better than Craig Tate. A second-generation tire dealer with a passion for the tire business, Craig was a college football player who took over his father’s tire dealership with his brother, Chuck, in 2000, and named it Tate Boys Tire & Service.

John Ziegler, Jr.: Challenges that Shaped Ziegler Tire’s DNA

Related Articles – Auto Value, Bumper to Bumper Sponsor MotorWeek – Talking Trends from the AAPEX 2022 Show Floor – Take a Guided Tour Around the AAPEX Show Floor John Ziegler Jr. has rubber running through his veins. The third generation of a 102-year-old tire business, John Jr. grew up busting tires at his family’s

Forming Relationships To Better Your Business With John Boyle

Related Articles – Women at the Wheel Podcast, Ep. 5: Sensata’s Jacki Lutz – It’s the End of the Road … to AAPEX – The Road To AAPEX Ep 5: The Road Less Traveled When you train under “The Captain,” you’re bound to be a captain of the industry in your own right. And John

Hunter’s John Zentz on How Dealers Can Win in Today’s Market

Related Articles – MotoRad CEO Matt Buchholz: ‘Pride is Unproductive’  – Road to AAPEX Ep. 4: Joe and the Caddy are Halfway There – Women at the Wheel Ep. 4: First Brands Group’s Angela Golden When you take a look around at the tire service equipment in your shop, you may see the name of

Other Posts

Bridgestone Partners with Lamborghini on Supercar Run-Flat

Bridgestone says the Dueler All-Terrain AT002 is the first supercar all-terrain tire featuring run-flat technology.

Bridgestone to Invest $250M in Costa Rica

The company will increase its production capacity by 36% for the local market, as well as for export.

Bridgestone Awarded $35 Million USDA Climate-Smart Grant

The grant will be used to expand Bridgestone’s guayule production in the Southwestern U.S.

Bridgestone to Find a Local Buyer for Its Russian Assets

Bridgestone has been present in Russia since 1998 and has more than 1,000 employees in the country.