Austin, Texas-based Lamb's Tire & Automotive Centers is hoping to open its seventh and eighth locations by the end of this summer, said owner John Lamb, who started the firm in 1987. Both locations will be about 6,000-sq.-ft. structures, housing eight to 10 service bays, said the owner of the combination Goodyear/Firestone dealership.
Tires Plus Groupe Inc. held a grand opening for its Ridgedale, Minn., corporate outlet Feb. 29 featuring Minnesota Timberwolve's star Sam Mitchell.
At the opening, Mr. Mitchell helped raise $1,500 for a local children's camp, a spokeswoman said.
The nine-bay location is Tires Plus' 43rd corporate store. The company, which is a part of the Tire Alliance Groupe, also operates 24 franchises.
The company said it intends to make the Ridgedale location the ``high performance hub of the Twin Cities.''
``We'll cater to all the local car clubs,'' said Greg Erickson, store manager.
Englewood, Colo.-based Big O Tires Inc. opened its eighth franchise store in the greater Tucson, Ariz., area the week of March 18. The store, which will employ 10 full- and part-time employees, was built to take advantage of a ``development boom'' in the city's Midvale area, Big O said.
The store is owned by Tom Orr.
``I'm convinced this is a good deal,'' Mr. Orr said after explaining he hopes to open two additional locations by the end of the year.
Big O operates 380 stores in 18 western and midwestern states.
Jim Martin Discount Tires and Service, a subsidiary of Automotive Industries Inc., held a grand opening for its 16th store in the Jacksonville, Fla., area March 7-9.
The 5,300-sq.-ft. store has sixservice bays, the company said.
The three-day grand opening featured the 16-time world champion ``Miss Budweiser'' racing boat, Bobby Labonte's Interstate Battery Chevrolet, the Bridgestone Turanza Balloon and a live radio remote crew.
Despite bad weather, the event drew more than 300 people and boosted store sales 243 percent, the company said.
The new store gives Automotive Industries 32 locations in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Tire Warehouse Central Inc., based in Keene, N.H., will open two franchise stores in mid April, giving it a total of 43 locations.
G.P. Group Inc. of Medway, Mass., will expand an existing automotive service center in Franklin, Mass., to accommodate the TWC franchise. Likewise, Desirable Property Management Inc. will expand an existing service center in Plymouth, N.H., for its franchise.
Currently, TWC operates 26 company-owned tire stores, 17 franchise locations and 29 auto parts outlets. The firm plans to open 12 locations this year.
Jefferson City Oil Co. exited the tire business Dec. 17 when it sold its 68-year-old tire division to Como Tire Supply Inc. of Columbia, Mo. The company will focus on its wholesale fuel business.
The acquisition of Jefferson Oil's two Jefferson City, Mo., outlets gives Como Tire five locations, including three stores in Columbia.
The dealership now operates as Como Tire Jefferson City Service Center, Como Tire Express, Como Tire Supply, Como Tire South and 1 Tuff Muffler and Service.
Jefferson City Oil President John Kolb said the increasing specialization and competitiveness of the fuel business forced the firm to leave the tire industry.
Walt Havens, National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association board member and founder of Havens Tire Service Co. in Lakewood, Calif., retired in January.
Mr. Havens, who owned the dealership for more than 20 years, sold his two Goodyear locations-one each in Lakewood and Long Beach, Calif.-to Mountain View Tire, which owns and operates nine other outlets in Southern California.
Ray Stewart of Target Tire in Charlotte, N.C., received a plaque recognizing the company's $6 million in sales for 1995 from Hankook Tire America Co. President H.K. Kim during Hankook's dealer meeting, Feb. 1-4 in Acapulco, Mexico.
Bonanza Tire Sales Inc. has been recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 500 largest Hispanic-owned businesses in the nation. The Houston-based wholesaler is the city's sixth-largest Hispanic business, and ranks 156th in the U.S.