Modern Tire Dealer

DEC 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 8 12 N e w s / V i e w s Pep Boys joins Amazon Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack, part of the Icahn Automotive Group LLC, is offering installation services nationwide for tires bought on the Amazon website. Canadian wholesalers merge Groupe Touchette Inc. is acquiring Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc. The Canadian whole- salers expect their combined sales to be between $550 million and $650 million. SmartWay search tool added Simple Tire LLC has added the ability to sort and filter search results based on tires that have earned the SmartWay label to its online platform. TPMS is embedded Continental Tire the Americas LLC has released a tire line, the 315/80R22.5 Conti Coach HA3, with an embedded tire pres- sure management system (TPMS) sensor installed from the factory. Falken earns fitments Falken Tire Corp.'s Sincera SN250A A/S will be original equipment on the 2019 Altima in the U.S. and Canada. The Ziex ZE001 A/S will be OE on the 2019 Rogue SV. Nokian builds R&D center Nokian Tyres plc is building a research and development center focused on heavy commercial tires at its headquarters in Nokia, Finland. Omnicraft on Ford website Ford Motor Co. has added Omnicraft parts, which target non-Ford and non-Lincoln ve- hicle repairs, to its FordParts.com website. Hybrid Shop has new leaders Dave Crawford has rejoined The Hybrid Shop as the company's president and chief operating officer. The new vice president of sales is Carey Mellor, who will lead a team focused on growing the franchised dealers nationwide. Michelin has scholarships Michelin North America Inc. is accepting applications for the 2019-2020 scholarship it offers to students associated with the Tire Industry Association (TIA). Bites Founder of top online tire sales site in the U.K. is entering the U.S. market G roupe Michelin called Mike Welch's online tire marketplace the best in the U.K. And then the tire maker bought it for 50 million pounds — $76.2 million. Welch is turn- ing his attention to the U.S. market and plans to launch Tirescanner, an online portal for brick-and-mortar tire dealers. e founder of Blackcircles.com is investing $1 million of his own money in the venture to create Tirescanner.com, which will have its headquarters in Florida. He plans to launch the site in 2019 with more than 60,000 tire sizes, 60 retailers and "a handful of key manufacturer partners." Tirescanner will offer both passenger and commercial tires. Consumers will purchase tires via the site's partner retail dealers. Blackcircles' online conversion reached 8% at its peak, the business had a net promoter score (NPS) of over 90 and year-on-year growth of over 50% in the years before he sold the business to Michelin in 2015. "Tirescanner is a platform that cel- ebrates and showcases the very best of the brick-and-mortar retail stores the United States has to offer," says Welch. "We have many thousands of tire retail outlets in the U.S., and unlike in Europe it is impossible for customers to check all of what is available to them. Tirescanner addresses that customer problem head on. Our goal is deliver an easy-to-use whole-of-market platform for customers and a low-cost high-performance solution for retailers to ensure they protect and grow their share of the market in the face of growing online competition." He points to Modern Tire Dealer statistics for proof of a growing online tire sales component in the industry. In 2016 6% of replacement consumer tires were sold online in the U.S. e figure increased to 7% in 2017. And Welch says "in 2018 we have seen further market moves indicating the importance of online as a channel, not least Amazon's continued expansion into the market and Dealer Tire's purchase of pure player Simple Tire LLC." (Welch joined Simple Tire's board in 2017.) "Great online is not about driving down price, any fool can do that; it is about reinforcing and showcasing to customers the value propositions of our partners," says Welch. "We have created a real strength in numbers opportunity for the traditional retailers." Cooper is leasing the warehouse in Byhalia, Miss., which employs about 100 people. Cooper opens its largest distribution center in the U.S. C ooper Tire & Rubber Co. has opened a 1 million-square-foot warehouse in Byhalia, Miss., which is its largest distribution center in the country. e company says the warehouse is centrally located from its three U.S. tire manufacturing plants in Findlay, Ohio, Texarkana, Ark., and Tupelo, Miss. Its location will allow the company to consolidate and distribute products directly to customers and also supply its regional distribution centers. e site has the capacity to add another 400,000 square feet. Cooper also has six regional distribution centers, three plant manufacturing warehouses and a mixing warehouse. PHOTO: COOPER

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