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Nokian buys Import Tire in Conn.

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COLCHESTER, Vt. (June 3, 2014) — Nokian Tyres North America Inc. has acquired the tire distribution business of Import Tire Co. in Glastonbury, Conn., in a move to strengthen its wholesale distribution footprint.

The deal provides Nokian Tyres with an inventory of about 50,000 tires at Import Tire’s warehouse in Glastonbury, plus Import Tire’s customer list and all accompanying equipment. Import Tire had been a Nokian customer for more than 20 years.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Nokian said the business being acquired represents roughly $10 million in annual sales.

Import Tire Owner Frank Bernstein is retiring, Nokian said, but his son Robert Bernstein will stay with Nokian and keep working in Glastonbury.

“New England is an important winter tire market for Nokian Tyres, and with this deal we are able to improve our service level substantially and get closer to our customers,” said Tommi Heinonen, general manager of Nokian Tyres North America.

“Now the time was right for both companies to take the next step and transfer the business under Nokian Tyres’ brand,” Mr. Heinonen said. “We will cherish the relationship with the current customers and develop the business further together with them.”

Import Tire Co. photo Import Tire Co.'s warehouse in Glastonbury, Conn.

Nokian’s sales in North America amount to about $150 million.

Import Tire had been in business in Glastonbury for more than 35 years, according to its website, which also shows the company handles Bridgestone, Dunlop, Falken, National and Pirelli brands. It serves dealers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and eastern New York.

The purchase of Import Tire Co. follows by five years the firm’s acquisition of Maine Wholesale Tire of Portland, Maine, to service dealers in Maine, southern New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts.”

That same year Nokian moved its U.S. headquarters to Colchester from LaVergne, Tenn. Nokian Tyres is the North American subsidiary of Nokian Tyres P.L.C. of Nokia, Finland.

The acquisition will be Nokian’s fifth distribution center in the U.S. Its others are in Colchester; Portland, Maine; Schenectedy, N.Y.; and Indianapolis. It services dealers in eastern Canada through the Colchester site and western Canada mostly with direct factory deliveries.

The company also owns and operates Vianor Inc., a 10-store retail tire and service center chain in New England.



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