Expansion American Car Care Centers Inc.'s 19th and newest member distributor isn't actually new to the marketing group.
Jim Paris Tire City in Denver is rejoining ACCC after a two-year hiatus. It originally had joined ACCC as a member distributor in 1994, but left three years later.
A spokesman for Memphis, Tenn.-based ACCC said Paris Tire and Logan, Utah-based Wholesale Tire Distributors Inc., another ACCC member, were both expanding into western Colorado at the time and that caused Paris Tire to leave ACCC.
Paris Tire President Jim Paris and WTD President Larry Nicholls are long-time acquaintances, the spokesman added, so they decided to meet earlier this year to resolve distribution problems in overlapping territories.
In July, both dealers met with ACCC President and COO Len Lewin to finalize the agreement.
In an ACCC press release, Mr. Lewin applauded the efforts of Mr. Nicholls to ``look beyond his personal business and do what was best overall for the group.''
The other ACCC member distributors unanimously endorsed the addition of Paris Tire, he added. ``I think this a testament to how much the ACCC group has grown during the last couple of years.''
Mr. Paris said that by the end of 2000 he plans to add four retail locations to the eight he already has, and two more the following year. He called the last two years the ``most profitable'' in the history of Paris Tire, which was founded in 1961.
The dealership has wholesale accounts in Colorado, Nebraska and several western states. It will be ACCC's member distributor for Colorado and western Nebraska.
Somerset Tire Service Inc. of Bound Brook, N.J., has opened its 67th location, in Chalfont, Pa.
That gives the dealership two locations in Bucks County, an affluent suburban community north of Philadelphia, and a total of seven in Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1958, STS also has stores in New Jersey and New York, with annual sales approaching $100 million. Based on current growth, executives said they believe the company will continue to grow to more than 100 stores.
Heafner-Itco Tires and Products rewarded 30 of its dealers each with a truckload of products as prizes following what the company called ``four months of unprecedented sales'' between this past January and April.
Three dealers won vehicles—a Chevrolet S-10 pickup and two Yamaha BearTracker all-terrain vehicles—while the remaining won truckloads of goods—tires, tools, equipment and auto accessories distributed by Heafner-Itco, as well as tire changers, lifts, custom wheels and tire repair supplies.
``We wanted our family of independent dealers to sample some of the products we offer,'' said Tom Dawson, vice president of sales and marketing, in a prepared statement.
The more a dealership purchased, Heafner-Itco said, the greater chance it had to win a truckload of free goods.
Heafner-Itco has 209 retail outlets and about 70 distribution centers nationwide. With 57 warehouses in the southeastern U.S., the company said it makes daily deliveries of tires, automotive accessories and equipment in that region.
When they talk speed at the Big O Tires outlet in Roswell, N.M., they mean more than just fast service.
Both the owner, 51-year-old Larry Loftin, and sales associate Mark Roberts, 34, spend many weekends drag racing at Roswell Dragway and other strips in the southwest.
``It's good advertising and it promotes our business,'' said Mr. Loftin. He opened the Roswell Big O location in 1993 and another store in January 1998 in El Paso, Texas.
While he has raced autos for about 35 years, Mr. Roberts started in the sport about 10 years ago
Mr. Loftin's two racers—1966 and 1980 Ford Mustangs—and Mr. Roberts' 1992 Chevrolet Beretta sport the Big O logo and those of other sponsors.
``About 90 percent of our customers know he (Mr. Loftin) races,'' said Mr. Roberts, a 2-year employee of the dealership who met Mr. Loftin through racing about six years ago. For added publicity, he said the store also displays the dragsters around town.
Both men race about 15 times a year, often at the local strip, where the dealership is a major sponsor.
Mr. Loftin serves on the board of a local community college and is active in the local Chamber of Commerce. He believes racing helps promote his dealership. ``It's really important in small-town U.S.A,'' he said.