Clerou Tire Co. Inc.
May 27th, 2014
Profile appeared in our 29-1 Issue – April 2012
There is no retirement in sight for the Clerou family—whose local business now has a third generation at the forefront. Louis Clerou began the legacy that is Clerou Tire Co. Inc. on 17th and K streets in 1942. After serving in World War II and the Korean War (leaving the Marine Corps as a colonel) Clerou’s younger brother, Joseph, became a partner in 1958. This was a union that would have a long-lasting effect on not only their family, but on the local community, as well.
The company has seen some changes throughout their many years in Bakersfield, and adaptation has been key. After the 1952 earthquake, the business had to be moved to 24th and O streets due to damages incurred. In 1963, they moved to the current location of East 21st and Kern streets due to the construction on the crosstown freeway.
In 1972, the company saw another change when Louis passed away, leaving Joseph as the sole proprietor of the shop. Joseph’s three sons—Joe Jr., Louie, and George—began greasing their elbows in the late 1970s.
For decades, Joseph and his sons ran the show. The year 2003 proved to be a year in which the company experienced yet another shift. Joe Jr. left and moved to Fresno, and it was also the year of Joseph Sr.’s death, leaving George and Louis to become partners. It was also in 2003 that George’s wife, Sandy, became a bookkeeper for Clerou Tire. Their son, Steven, became involved in 2009, learning the business from his father and uncle.
The Clerou family has been in Bakersfield since the early 1900s and has established close ties with the community in more ways than one. Dr. Romain Clerou is 98 years old and is still practicing as a doctor. Vincent’s Sporting Goods was owned by Vincent Clerou, brother of Louis and Joseph. Clerou Tire, itself, has been in the mix for 70 years by supporting local schools and charities.
They pride themselves on dedication to their customers and providing good, honest service. They are proud of their employee loyalty and the long-term service they have provided the company. Joseph Clerou always said, “United we stand and divided we fall. Take care of your employees and they will take care of you.” These words still direct the way the business is ran, keeping a focus on quality of service to patrons.
One thing that you can expect that sets them apart from just any other tire shop is that when you call Clerou Tire, you will speak to a Clerou. After seven decades in business, what started out as just a tire shop is now a full service shop, servicing passenger, truck, and farm vehicles. They also do front end alignments, brakes, and oil changes.
They have been a fixture in Old Town Kern for 49 years, and they have no plans of moving, as they are surrounded by wonderful Basque and Italian restaurants. Regardless of any changes, there is one thing that will always hold true: they love their customers and appreciate their loyalty!