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Purcell Tire names new CEO

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By Dave Zielasko, Tire Business staff

POTOSI, Mo. (April 1, 2014) — Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. has named Roger Lucas its new CEO, replacing company co-owner Robert Purcell, who continues as chairman of the board.

(Tire Business photo by Bruce Davis)
Roger Lucas

Mr. Lucas will join the Potosi-based retail, commercial and off-the-road tire dealership and retreader on or before May 1. He currently serves as senior vice president of Tire Centers L.L.C. (TCi), a unit of Michelin North America Inc.

In addition to this move, Purcell’s board of directors announced that current company President Dennis Flynn will become a board member and will serve as its vice chairman.

The company also is expanding its board to seven members from six. Joining the board is John McErlane, former president of company-owned commercial operations for Bridgestone Americas who retired from the tire maker in 2013. During his tenure at Bridgestone, Mr. McErlane also served as vice president of Bridgestone Bandag and prior to that was vice president of North America for Bandag Inc. before its purchase by Bridgestone.

(Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. photo)
Robert Purcell

Mr. Purcell said he expects Mr. Lucas will bring his own ideas to his role as president of Purcell Tire. “He’s been successful in his own right,” he said. “He’s going to do a good job. He’s independent.”

He added that he and his wife Juanita, also co-owner of the dealership, are “pleased that Mr. Lucas has accepted the CEO’s position, as it will ensure the continued growth, strength and future of our company.”

At TCi — where he will spend the next few weeks finishing up his responsibilities — Mr. Lucas manages all of the company’s operations, including 67 commercial tire centers, nine retread facilities and 970 employees. He has been with Michelin since 1992.

Mr. Lucas’ hiring was announced by Mr. Purcell, 79, and his 78-year-old wife, who continues to serve as chief operating officer and as a board member.

Mr. Purcell said the move was made as part of the company’s succession planning. Purcell Tire is one of North America’s largest independent tire dealerships. It posted sales of $272 million in 2013.

With Mr. Lucas’ hiring, Mr. Purcell said the dealership will remain under the ownership of the Purcells.

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Titan International and the United Steelworkers union have petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce seeking relief from OTR tire imports from China, India and Sri Lanka. What’s your opinion?

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