Virginia-based Duncan Brothers Tire Co. Inc. opened its first outlet in West Virginia-it's fifth retail store overall-in April. The outlet, located in Martinsburg, W.Va., is a 9,200-sq.-ft. store that can accommodate two commercial and eight passenger vehicles in its service bay.
Two doors allow commercial vehicles to enter the service bay area. Retail vehicles, however, are driven into the building through a single door and placed on jacks that are arranged in a J-pattern, according to co-owner and President Carmen Rio.
The unique layout takes advantage of the available space and allows the company to save on heating costs by cutting down on the number of service bay doors, he said.
Winchester, Va.-based Duncan Brothers, founded in 1934, now has retail/commercial outlets in Winchester, Front Royal and Culpepper, Va., Hagerstown, Md., and Martinsburg.
The company does not have immediate expansion plans, but ``we do intend to grow,'' Mr. Rio said. Duncan Brothers tries to open new stores within 20 to 25 miles of existing locations in order to provide advertising, inventory and logistical support, he added.
Tire Warehouse Central Inc. said it recently purchased property in Biddeford, Maine, where it plans to open a full- and semi-self-serve tire operation in September.
The Keene, N.H.-based retailer is building a 7,000-sq.-ft. building on the site. The outlet will offer private label and major brand tires, retreads and used tires that are processed in its Keene factory.
The location also will hold a Double Discount Auto Parts division.
Once the outlet is opened, Tire Warehouse will operate 26 company-owned tire stores, 25 auto parts businesses, 19 franchise locations and wholesale distribution centers in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The company said it has plans to open six more locations this year.
In order to better highlight it's emphasis on automotive service, Rose Murty Tire changed its name to Tate Family Complete Auto Care.
The San Jose, Calif.-based dealership offers complete automotive service and sells new passenger tires.
Company owner Larry Tate began working at Rose Murty Tire in 1955 and bought a 50-percent interest in the shop in 1967. Two years later he became the sole owner.
For years, Mr. Tate had been reluctant to change the Rose Murty Tire name, fearing it was too well established among its customers and the community, said Mr. Tate's wife, Sandy Tate.
``But it's been 26 years,'' she noted. ``Most customers know who (Mr. Tate) is anyway.''
Since the change, which occurred Feb. 1, business has improved, said Mrs. Tate. But she added, ``It's kind of hard to say why.''
The single-location retail dealership also has focused more on teamwork, she said, with new uniforms and more employee meetings.
Two tire dealers, Roger Coll and Robert Keller, have been elected new members of Hercules Tire Co.'s board of directors for three-year terms.
Mr. Coll has been president of Coll Tire in Burgettstown, Pa., for the past 10 years. He began working at the firm, which his father started 55 years ago, in 1977.
Mr. Keller joined Electra Group International in Ontario, as chief operating officer in 1995.
Electra markets tires, wheels and related products in about 80 countries through its Treadway
Export Ltd., Tire Specialists Ltd., Wheeltech North America and Conestoga Tire & Rim Inc. subsidiaries.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Keller was president of Waterloo-based Tire Specialists, a business he worked at since 1976.
Columbus, Ohio-based D and D Retreading recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Owners Don Goble Jr., president, and David Pack, secretary/treasurer, founded the single-location retread shop in 1986 when a firm that both of them had worked at, Columbus Retreading Co., went out of business.
D and D Retreading builds 250 commercial and tractor/trailer retreads a week. The company primarily wholesales to central and southern Ohio, West Virginia and northern Kentucky.
Recently the company upgraded its operation with Hercules Retreading Systems equipment, including a 25-tire steam chamber, a tubeless CRT system, a buffer and a monorail system.