CTS Tires Inc. was purchased by two former employees, Jim Nelson and Walt McCoin, from former owner Mike Omta on Jan. 1. The four-bay, Redmond, Ore.-based retail/commercial dealership employs eight and attributes about 50 percent of its sales to over-the-road trucking accounts, according to Mr. Nelson.
CTS Tire performs auto service and commercial road service work and is also a U-Haul dealer.
Mr. Omta started the business 13 years ago, Mr. Nelson said, and is now pursuing other interests.
So far this year, CTS Tires has posted monthly sales figures about double their year-earlier totals, Mr. Nelson reported.
In January, El Passo, Texas-based Martin Tire Co. opened its sixth outlet, a 7,200-sq.-ft. store in Las Cruces, N.M., located about one hour outside of El Passo.
The seven-bay store, built by Martin Tire, employs five and performs primarily retail automotive tire sales and service along with some wholesale tire business, according to President Robert Martin Sr.
Martin Tire also has one outlet in Alamogordo, N.M., and four locations in El Passo.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Don Perry Tire opened its second location in January.
The 3,000-sq.-ft. building, located in downtown Pleasanton, is a performance- and customizing-based concept store operating under the new Driver Concepts by Don Perry name. The outlet features performance, custom and antique wheels, tires and specialty aftermarket items, according to owner and former National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association president Don Perry.
Mr. Perry said the Driver Concepts store, located in a highly traveled pedestrian area, is designed to attract shoppers walking through the downtown area.
Avon, Mass.-based Merchants Tire Co. recently celebrated both the centennial birthday of its founder, Max Katz, and the grand opening of its new commercial truck center in Woburn, Mass.
The dealership's new 20,000-sq.-ft. commercial center houses about 5,000 tires and was converted to its present use from a former clothing warehouse.
Mr. Katz, who turned 100 on Feb. 15, started Merchants in 1922 and remains chairman of the board of directors. The company sells Bridgestone, Kelly-Springfield and Michelin tires and Bandag retreads at four truck tire centers serving Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
Ludwick's Service Center, located in Meredith, N.H., has become a Tire Warehouse Central Inc. (TWC) franchise.
According to TWC, its latest franchisee will offer new, used and retreaded tires, custom and original equipment wheels and, eventually,an auto parts inventory.
John Ludwick Sr. opened Ludwick's Service Center in 1978 and will continue to operate the franchise, which is TWC's 20th. TWC said the franchise agreement will allow Mr. Ludwick ``to operate under the Tire Warehouse name and system, while still remaining independent in other functions of the business.''
Keene, N.H.-based TWC also operates 25 company-owned tire stores, 24 auto parts outlets, a distribution center serving all of New England.
The company said it plans to open 12 more locations in 1995.
``Team Arizona'' won the Tires Plus Groupe Women's Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, held Feb. 18-19, in St. Louis Park, Minn.
The Minnesota Women's Rolling Timberwolves, University of Illinois, Arizona and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago competed in the round-robin tournament.
Henry Johnson Auto & Tire Inc., which is based in Naples, Fla., and operates two outlets there, recently held a ``grand introduction'' of the Kelly brand to its stable of Bridgestone, Michelin and Dunlop tire lines.
President Richard A. Johnson said that when Kmart Corp.'s tire and auto centers dropped the Kelly line last year ``it created a big void in our area.'' The dealership was approached by the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. about adding the line, he said. ``We looked hard at the program, then decided to take it on. They gave us Collier County as an exclusive territory for passenger and light truck.''
While the dealership didn't drop any lines, Mr. Johnson said addition of Kelly tires has cut into sales of some of the private labels he sells, including Gillette, Hercules and Kelly's own Lee brand. But he said that doesn't bother him as much as the cut-throat tire-selling atmosphere in Florida, which he called a ``whore's market-in our business, that's the best word for it. Tire manufacturers sell to anyone at the lowest prices.''
The Kelly line is helping his business grow, Mr. Johnson said, as customers ``begin to put faith'' in that tire.