Things to Think About - Tire Review Magazine

Things to Think About

The argument is settled. American Tire Distributors is clearly now the biggest bear in the woods.

Its $75 million deal to buy Am-Pac Tire Distributors not only gives it more than 100 distribution centers across most of the U.S., it lends itself to the potential of ATD being the largest marketing group operator in North America.

If $75 mil sounds like a lot (and for those of us who don’t have $75 mil, it is), consider what ATD landed.

• 24 DCs that can be quickly snapped into its existing system.

• Two low-end radial lines – Capital and Negotiator – it had been lacking since ATD lost its Regul line.

• 40 Am-Pac-owned retail stores (though since it unloaded its Heafner and T.O. Haas retail businesses, ATD has remained out of that business).

• An already existing, 300-member strong marketing group – Tire Pros.

That may well be the most important piece to the pie.

ATD chief Dick Johnson stated flatly that the company wants to build Tire Pros to at least the 1,000-member level. And that won’t be hard with ex-Am-Pac CEO Dennis Mangola and former American Car Care Centers marketing director Dave Crawford leading that charge for their new employer.

Also interesting to consider is the new dynamic at ACCC. Am-Pac was one of ACCC’s largest member distributors. ATD grandfathered into ACCC when it bought Target Tire in 2004, with an agreed-to territory restriction so as to not upset the other members. Now ATD is clearly the big dog within ACCC – even as it sets its sights to create its own mega-marketing group.

Let your mind wander and play out the scenarios in your head. Kinda makes you go ‘Hhmmm,’ don’t it?

Certainly ACCC and Tire Pros can co-exist in the market for years to come. Many dealers belong to multiple groups already. But this day and age, rule out nothing.

If you have comments to share, send to me at [email protected].

– Jim Smith

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