FARNHAM, Quebec — Driving through the French-Canadian countryside somewhere between Montreal and Vermont, Martins Industries Inc. President Martin Dépelteau noticed something about using Magnum+ in his tires.
Though designed to maintain tire balance in trucking fleets, the "high-precision" tire balancing beads worked well on his Volvo, too.
Martins Industries recently acquired Ontario-based M&R Tire Products and its Magnum+ brand after studying Magnum+ at several levels internally, surveying customers and even testing the product in their own vehicles.
"There's incredible prospects for (Magnum+)," Mr. Dépelteau said. "Everyone thinks that it's made for truck tires, but it works on cars, too."
With Magnum+, Martins industries sees a product with global potential.
The Magnum+ micro beads reduce vibration and maintain balance inside a tire as it turns, which can lower car maintenance costs, the company said.
The company unveiled news of the deal to customers Sept. 1, and alerted Tire Business on Oct. 28.
The company declined to disclose terms of the deal.
Known best in the tire industry for tire-installation cages and the Tire Rider line of tire carts, Matins Industries is broadening its line of products, Mr. Dépelteau said.
With Magnum+, the company saw a strong product that needed a boost to expand its exposure. Magnum+ has been marketed primarily to the trucking industry and other industries where fleet repair costs are high.
But less friction (vibration) means better balance and fewer tire repairs. And that works at every level of tire maintenance.
Mr. Dépelteau said the acquisition was "a good match," because M&R Tire and Martins Industries share similar business values focused on "premium quality products."
"The product tier of the quality (of Magnum+) matches ours," Mr. Dépelteau said. "For us, our first acquisition was not too big, not too complicated, … it was kind of easy for integration."
The deal was a key to finalizing the company's past two-year strategic plan, which included an expansion of its Farnham headquarters.
The Farnham facility was expanded with a building addition, more manufacturing space as well as an improved office space. Cost of the expansion was not disclosed.
Production of Magnum+ will be relocated to new space at Martins Industries' facility from the M&R Tire plant in Simcoe, Ontario, where it's made now, Mr. Dépelteau said. Plans call for the Farnham plant to be onstream to manufacture Magnum+ by February 2020.
The team at Martins has been working the last three months preparing for the Magnum+ rebrand, which includes many elements, from logo design and packaging to online experience. Marketing is an area where Martins Industries excels, Mr. Dépelteau said.
"We are really efficient in our work," he said. "I believe in (marketing). It is what has worked for us."
The Magnum+ "brand refresh" will be launched at the 2019 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, Nov. 5-8, in Las Vegas.
Looking ahead to its next two-year plan, Martins Industries wants to expand at every level, seeking new products that will extend its portfolio of tire shop products beyond those that already represent half or more of their respective market segments.
The Magnum+ is the first product acquisition, but the company said won't be the last.
Mr. Dépelteau said there will also be a focus on spreading globally, looking into Europe for possible distribution centers.
Martins said its sales of tire equipment products for the car, fleet, trucking, OTR and aircraft industries have exceed 2 million pieces. It has distribution centers in the U.S., Canada, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Australia, along with manufacturing plants in Canada and China.