Johnny Antonelli Tire Co. Inc., the upstate New York dealership named for its founder, the former major league pitcher, sold 17 of its former 19 locations to Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. during 1994, shifting its focus from retail to other business segments. The former Antonelli locations were converted to Firestone Tire & Service Centers, accompanied by the removal of Goodyear tires which the Rochester-based chain had carried since 1992, when it severed a 35-year allegiance to the Firestone brand.
John Antonelli Jr., the Rochester-based firm's president and son of founder, John Antonelli Sr., said his company decided to concentrate on its commercial, wholesale and retreading operations.
The younger Mr. Antonelli has been the company's president since 1992, following the departure of longtime president and CEO Joseph A. DePaolis, a past-president of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
BTS Corp., which hopes to have 100 retail locations through-out Canada within five years, opened its ninth company-owned outlet during 1994.
The move brought the two-year-old Rexdale, Ontario-based retail chain's total locations to 43, including 25 associate stores, five franchised locations, three warehouses and a distribution center.
The company's own tire and automotive service outlets operate as ``Tires 4 Less,'' while its franchised locations use the name ``Bargain Tire Auto Centres.'' All offer brake, exhaust, oil change and engine tune-up services.
Eventually, BTS hopes to convert all its company-owned retail stores into franchises, according to Carmine Coletti, vice president of marketing and planning and son of the founder, Adrian Coletti.
Goodyear expanded its Just Tires tires-only retail concept, opening 13 stores in the Philadelphia area and an additional 31 in metropolitan Los Angeles.
Most of the stores were conversions of traditional Goodyear retail outlets, although some Mark C. Bloome and Broadway company-owned stores in the Los Angeles area also were changed.
Unlike Goodyear's traditional retail stores, which offer tires and full automotive repairs, Just Tires provides only tires and tire-related services, such as mounting, wheel balancing and alignment.
Goodyear currently operates about 60 Just Tires locations, a company spokesman said.
Plans call for that number to grow to more than 250 during the next several years.
Fountain Tire Corp. converted seven Goodyear Certified Auto Service Centers and five independent Goodyear locations inEdmonton, Alberta, into Fountain Tire outlets, giving the Edmonton-based company 86 stores in Alberta and British Columbia.
The store conversion is part of an ``aggressive growth plan'' under way by Fountain Tire and Goodyear Canada Inc., which owns a 49-percent interest in the dealership.
Brad Ragan Inc., the largest North American off-the-road retreader, acquired the seventh-largest OTR retreader, Schultz's Inc. of Delano, Pa., Sept. 28 after its owner, Herb Schultz, said he planned to retire.
Brad Ragan, a Goodyear subsidiary, said Schultz's Delano mold-cure retreading facility will become its primary source for mold cure retreads, expanding Brad Ragan's overall retreading and repair capacity by about 25 percent.
On Dec. 1, Toronto-based Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. closed its 10 Auto Source stores in the north-central U.S.
The warehouse-styled outlets-which offered auto parts, tires and service-lost about $20 million in 1993 and $13.1 million during the first nine months of 1994, the company reported.
In 1986, Canadian Tire made its first unsuccessful attempt to enter the U.S. market with a home and auto supply chain based in Texas.
San Jose, Calif.-based Competition Parts Warehouse acquired Tire Masters Inc.'s warehouses, inventory, equipment and assets in Mesa, Ariz., Cerritos, Fresno, Newbury Park, Sacramento and San Jose, Calif., after the company, a subsidiary of Japan's Nissho Iwai Corp., said it was exiting the wholesale tire business.
The company is negotiating to sell its other two warehouses, in Kent, Wash., and Portland, Ore.
Inexperienced in retailing, TMI President and CEO Katsuhiko ``Kurt'' Marumoto said the company did not see that area as aviable business.
Merchant's Tire & Automotive, of Manassas, Va., expanded its market coverage into South Carolina with the purchase of Triad Tire & Automotive of Kernersville, N.C., with 17 stores and three warehouses.
The acquisition brought Merchant's holdings to 126 retail outlets, 12 distribution centers and six commercial locations in a five-state region, extending from Pennsylvania to South Carolina.