Commercial tire dealers surveyed for this report in general cited rising costs, shortages of qualified people and availability of products among their concerns for 2023.
Among those who replied:
Bruce Chamblee, chief operating office for Dorsey Tire in Savannah, Ga., noted that the growth of last-mile delivery and industry consolidation are changing the dynamics of the commercial tire sector, along with the influx of imports from non-USTMA member companies.
To stay competitive, he said, Dorsey is focused on "delivering exceptional services and products" to its customers and is concentrating on "being strategic" in its purchasing and inventory policies.
David Mickelson, president of Graham Tire, said his team sees "lots of new opportunities" for growth, but that staffing and physical space are potential constraints to growth that have to be addressed.
John Ziegler Jr., vice president at Ziegler Tire & Supply, noted that fluctuating prices and product availability—from no supply to oversupply—are affected the way the company goes to market.
Rick Benton II, vice president, sales, at Black's Tire Service, said in general the prices the market is charging for commercial service are too low.
No discussion of the commercial tire sector in North America over the past year would be complete with a recap of mergers and acquisition—and there were plenty to discuss, starting right at the top, with Southern Tire Mart, the continent's No. 1 independent dealer and retreader.
Over the past 12 months, STM has:
- acquired the assets of Friend Tire Co., the Monett, Mo.-based wholesale arm of Yokohama Corp. of North America, for an undisclosed price. Friend Tire operates nine distribution centers around the country and has reported annual sales of over $150 million in the past few years.
- acquired Redburn Tire Co. of Phoenix (September 2022)—11 sales/service outlets and five retread plants in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico;
- took over 26 GCR Tire outlets (September 2022) in northern California, Colorado, Nevada and Utah. Included in the purchase were four retread plants, including one standalone facility, in Fountain, Colo.
Pomp's Tire Service Inc., now the No. 2 dealership and No. 3 retreader, carried out three acquisitions that expanded its reach by 55 sales/service locations and a dozen retread plants. The deals include:
- Royal Tire of St. Cloud, Minn., (April 2023)—17 locations throughout Minnesota and North Dakota, along with three retread plants;
- Tredroc Tire Services Inc. of Elk Grove, Ill. (September 2022)—17 locations, two distribution centers and four retread plants in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Arkansas, and $135 million in annual sales;
- five GCR commercial tire service and retreading locations in Colorado from Bridgestone Americas Inc. (September 2022);
- Whalen Tire (June 2022) with nine locations in Montana and Washington and a pair of retread plants.
- Dale's Tire & Retreading Inc. (April 2022) of Rapid City, S.D., three stores and one retread plant.