CHARLEROI, Pa.—As it approaches its 20th aniversary, Valley Tire Co. Inc. is in a growth mode. The commercial dealership has just wrapped up its latest deal, buying George Ray Tire Co., based in Oil City, Pa., a move that has solidified Valley Tire's relatively new presence in western New York.
The transaction, which closed March 15, gave Charleroi-based Valley Tire three more locations—a Bandag retread shop and commercial outlet in Oil City, a combination commercial and retread facility in Dunkirk, N.Y., and a commercial outlet in Buffalo, N.Y.
George Ray Tire was a competitor in western New York, said James Stankiewicz, Valley Tire president. ``To gain more control of the New York market, we had to make the move.'' The dealership has since closed the newly acquired Buffalo store, merging the operation into an outlet it already owned in that city. Most of George Ray Tire's employees were retained, he said.
This was Valley Tire's second acquisition in the past two years and its fifth overall. In August 1997, it entered western New York with the purchase of Division Tire, based in the Buffalo suburb of Tonawanda. That deal gave Valley Tire one retail store and three commercial outlets, Mr. Stankiewicz said.
Including these acquisitions, Valley Tire now operates four Bandag retread shops, eight commercial-only locations, two commercial/retail outets and three retail stores.
Mr. Stankiewicz believes that to own the market "you have to expand."
With its headquarters situated in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, the company's marketing area extends into western New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio.
Valley Tire employs 225, including 113 in commercial service, 24 in commercial sales and 28 in its retread plants. It operates 80 service trucks.
To address the expanding demands of fleet customers, Valley Tire offers total tire service to fleets under a Bandag Inc. program.
In 1998, the company posted sales of $34 million with commercial revenue accounting for more than 90 percent. This year, Mr. Stankiewicz projects sales will increase to $40 million, with commercial sales growing to $38 million.