Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2017

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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39 through acquisition. e company finalized its purchase of Becker Tire & Treading Inc.'s plant in Great Bend, Kan., in February 2017. Several retread plants closed during the year. Singapore-based manufacturer Omni United (S) Pte. Ltd. acquired A to Z Tire & Baery Inc. in June 2016. Aer the purchase, Omni United closed A to Z Tire & Baery's plant. Strouhal Tire Recapping Plant Ltd. in Hungerford, Texas, also closed in 2016 following the death of Don Strouhal in July. e Strouhal family, which continues to operate two retail stores in Texas, told MTD its retreading business was sold to Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. Dealers try new approaches Despite the challenging retreading environment, Langerak made significant investments in other parts of Wonderland Tire's business. He says the company is pursuing acquisitions as part of its strategy for growth. e company purchased three locations from independent deal- ers who wanted to retire, increasing its commercial and retail tire locations to eight stores. Wonderland bought Reed's Tire in Holland, Mich., in Sept. 2015, JIS Tire in Howard City, Mich., in Oct. 2016, and Root's Tire in Ludington, Mich., in Dec. 2016. No. 48-ranked Dorsey Tire Co. Inc. is also expanding other parts of its business to offset declines in retreading. "We've experienced a tremendous impact in our retreading business with declines above 8% to 10% across the board; our cap casing business has sustained a 20% decrease in business," says Bruce Chamblee, general manager of the Pooler, Ga.-based company, which operates two commercial outlets. He says Dorsey Tire is an anomaly in terms of tire sales. "We elected for a number of years to stay out of the Tier 3/Tier 4 bale because we didn't sell an offshore tire other than the Dayton brand that Bridgestone made. We sold a lile bit of Cooper Roadmaster but we really steered clear of fighting in that arena. We watched our business in our Tier 2/Tier 3 segment actually fall as well." With the ITC vote against tariffs, the company took a new approach and began carrying the Westlake brand. " We've had to start selling Chinese tires at the detriment to our own retread business because it's the only way to bring profit into our company and be able to sustain ourselves," says Chamblee. Sales of Firestone brand truck tires, which are the bulk of Dorsey Tire's Tier 2 business, fell 10% in 2016 versus 2015. When MTD spoke with Chamblee in March 2017, an 11R22.5 14-ply Westlake brand Chinese drive tire was selling for $230 to $240 and the Westlake trailer tire for $230 to $240 in his market. By comparison, a Firestone drive tire was priced from $370 to $390 and a steer tire from $385 to $390 (the Firestone prices are post-manufacturer price increase). Chamblee is selling retread drive tires with a premium casing for $220 to $230. His customers are choosing a new Westlake tire for $230. "at price point is why the vote was such a big deal to retreaders." Quik-Link: 800-687-1557 ext. 14120

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