Competitive pricing, service goals of new tire store

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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A former Downtown Auburn gas station is now a tire store. Best American Tires & Wheels opened in late fall at High Street and Cleveland Avenue. Woodland resident Mushtag Ahmed owns the business, and his son, Arfan Ahmed, manages it. The family leases the site from Bay Area businessman Naim Jamali. According to Ahmed, the family operates tire shops in several Northern California locations including Sacramento, Chico, Marysville and Yuba City. “We chose Auburn because it is a nice location with friendly people and a friendly environment,” he said. In addition to the sale and installation of tires and rims, the shop also handles tire rotation, minor servicing and repairs and snow chains. The location has been a Downtown fixture for many years. In 2007, Auburn resident Richard Powell leased the site, renaming it Powell’s Superstop and focusing on vehicle repair. The site had been vacant for awhile when, in August 2009, the Central Valley Regional Water Control Board oversaw the removal of its three underground gas tanks. When the Ahmeds took over the building, which has a reception area, three-bay workshop and adjoining office, they repainted and did some cleanup, Arfan said. The family sells new and used tires, with the emphasis on competitive pricing. The selection includes many well-known brands, but “if we don’t have it, we’ll have same-day or next-day delivery,” Arfan Ahmed said. How does he decide if a tire needs to be repaired or replaced? “It depends on the tread,” Ahmed said. “We look at the tread and the sidewalls.” One mistake he sees frequently is uneven tread wear. “(It means the tires need) new alignment,” he said. Currently, the shop does not offer alignment, but Ahmed plans to add equipment to be able to handle that service in the future, he said. He’s also working on launching a website soon. He arrived in Northern California 11 years ago from the Punjab region of India, near Pakistan. He has many family members and friends in the U.S., but one thing he misses about his homeland is the food, particularly curry. “We can get it here too, but it doesn’t taste the same,” he said. As the business gets established, Ahmed and the other shop employees are providing a service they may not have envisioned initially. “Lots of people come in for directions,” he said. And it’s something he’s happy to provide, he added. On Wednesday, first-time customer Jason Matthew visited the shop to have a set of tires installed. “I called around for prices and they had the best here in town,” said Matthews, who drove to Auburn from Georgetown to get the work done. “So far service has been great. There were a couple of minor problems with a missing lug nut and they took care of it.” Reach Gloria Young at ------------------------ Best American Tires & Wheels Where: 851 High St., Downtown Auburn Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday- Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday Phone: (530) 888-1135