Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2017

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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MTD April 2017 News/views Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops offer online tire sales Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops has added an online tire shopping tool to its website that gives consumers a good-better-best recommendation. The online tire wizard is "designed to make tire shopping easier and more convenient," Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops says. The company, formerly known as Merlin Muffler & Brake, is owned by Driven Brands, the same company that owns Meineke Car Care Centers and other automotive service retailers. When consumers go to the Merlin website, they first select their preferred Merlin shop, and then search for tires using vehicle informa- tion or tire brand. Shoppers see the good-better-best recommendations, but also can browse through all of the tires and brands available. Merlin, which has focused its in-store tire sales on Continental and General brand tires, offers other brands online, including Goodyear, Cooper, Pirelli, Bridgestone and Uniroyal – as evidenced by a trial search on the website. Among the benefits the company highlights for its online shop- ping tool is "low internet pricing" without extra shipping fees. Customers pay in-store at the time of installation. Nokian picks board member as next CEO Nokian Tyres plc has appointed one of its board members, Hille Korhonen, as the company's next CEO and president. She will take her new position June 1. "Hille Korhonen brings extensive leadership experience and excellent brand expertise to this position," says Petteri Walldén, chairman of the board of directors. Korhonen has more than 20 years of experience in international consumer business and global industrial operations. She has been a member of the Nokian board since 2006. Andrei Pantioukhov has served as interim CEO and president since January 2017 and will continue in this role until Korhonen assumes her duties as CEO. After June 1, 2017, Pantioukhov will continue as the executive vice president of Nokian, general manager of its Russian operations, and as a member of the group's management team. Telle Tire acquires another dealer For the second time in less than four months, Telle Tire & Auto Service Inc. has acquired an independent tire dealer in the greater St. Louis, Mo., area. The company acquired Safe Way Tire Center Inc., dba Safe- way Tire & Auto in St. Charles, Mo., on March 31, 2017. Safeway Tire opened its doors in 1964. Jay Moore, a second genera- tion owner, along with partner Dennis Budde, have operated the family business since 1985. Aaron Telle, CEO and president of Telle Tire, says, "This is a great addition to the Telle Tire family and we believe the culture of Safeway Tire fits nicely into our organization." The deal gives Telle Tire a total of six retail stores in the greater St. Louis area. RMA projects slight growth Replacement and consumer tire shipments will be up in 2017 compared to last year, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). So will original equipment passenger tire shipments. Overall U.S. tire shipments will increase by 1.4 million units in 2017, up 0.4%. Centric Parts earns award Centric Parts received the Outstanding IT Initiatives Partner award from the Automotive Parts Associates (APA). It's the eighth time the company has been selected by APA members as an outstanding partner. Bridgestone names tech chief Nizar Trigui has assumed the newly created position of chief technology officer at Bridgestone Americas Inc. He comes with more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry. Kenda sponsors off-road event American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd.'s Kenda brand is a new tire sponsor of Vore Adrenaline Compound, an off-road driving experience based in Las Vegas. Record year for ITDG The Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC (ITDG) recorded another year with new highs for both top- and bottom-line results. The group added 16 new members and total purchases exceeded $210 million. Triangle nabs Phillips Rick Phillips is leaving Yokohama Tire Corp. after 18 years to join Triangle Tire USA as vice president of sales. ATD has new CFO American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD) has hired Bill Williams as its new chief financial officer. He has served as interim financial executive advisor since September 2016. Wegmann opens new DC Wegmann automotive USA Inc. is moving into a larger distribution facility in Phoenix to serve its West Coast customers. bites Korhonen joins Nokian after serving as CEO of Alko Inc. since 2013. 12

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