COLUMBIA, Miss.-Southern Tire Mart Inc. more than doubled the size of its retread operations in 1995 with the addition of nine Bandag retread plants, giving it a total of 17 such facilities. The Columbia-based retread and commercial dealership has plans to grow even more in 1996.
Four new truck tire centers are already on the drawing board slated for Texas and Louisiana, including one new retread plant. It also is considering opening as many as two commercial sites in the new marketing area of Alabama and possibly moving into the Atlanta market, said Thomas M. Duff, president and CEO.
``Our desire is to be a fairly dominate commercial dealership from Atlanta to Dallas,'' he said.
During 1996, Southern Tire Mart will open truck tire centers in San Antonio, Houston and Austin, Texas, and will replace an older truck tire center with a modern facility in Shreveport, La. The San Antonio site also will get a new Bandag retread plant.
These locations will strengthen the company's position in those markets, Mr. Duff said.
During 1995, Southern Tire went on an expansion spree.
The biggest move occurred in May, when the company acquired Modern Tire Service, based in Dallas, from Michelin North America. The transaction gave Southern Tire two wholesale, one retail and seven commercial locations as well as four Bandag retread shops.
Last year the company also:
Opened, in June, a new retread plant in New Orleans, the company's first in the city;
Added a new Bandag plant adjacent to an existing Southern Tire commercial location in Sulphur, La., in September;
Opened a commercial truck tire center in August in Shreveport and purchased a Bandag retread shop from Service Tire Inc., also in Shreveport, in October;
Purchased Custom Truck Tires, a commercial dealership and Bandag retread operation in Tupelo, Miss., in September. Southern Tire now has two commercial locations there but plans to combine them in a new truck tire center, moving the Bandag shop into a new, adjacent facility at the same time; and
Opened a new Bandag shop in Alexandria, La., in late August/early September, where it had an existing commercial dealership.
These additions helped boost sales to $87 million in 1995, from $54 million in 1994. The firm expects sales of $120 million in 1996.
Southern Tire also operates 27 commercial dealerships, three retail stores and two wholesale locations in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee and Alabama.