INDIANAPOLIS (June 9, 2000)—TruckersB2B.com Inc., a "business-to-business" purchasing website for truckers, has signed an agreement with Michelin North America Inc. to obtain rebates for TruckersB2B.com members on Michelin tires and retreads.
Under the rebate plan announced June 8, members of the website may choose any dealer of Michelin truck tires or retreader in the Michelin Retread Technologies network and negotiate a deal to buy tires. Afterwards, they fax their invoices to TruckersB2B.com and will receive in return a cash rebate arranged by Michelin North America.
"They get a cash rebate plus the best deal they can negotiate," said Bob Helms, president and CEO of TruckersB2B.com. While Mr. Helms did not reveal the possible amounts or percentages of rebates, he did say, "A trucking company with 20 trucks can pick up an extra $400 or $500 a month as well as what they can save through the dealers."
All truckers need to obtain the rebate is to join the website, and membership is free, he added.
The arrangement is "very, very supportive of dealers," since it involves the truckers dealing directly with them, according to Mr. Helms. It also helps the website, because "it replaces the cost of direct marketing and advertising to tens of thousands of these small companies," he said.
This marks the first arrangement TruckersB2B.com has made with a tire manufacturer for a supply/rebate program on the Web site. "Things are moving so fast on the website" that arrangements with other tire makers and retreaders are "not out of the question," Mr. Helms said. "But Michelin will be our premier quality tire vendor."
Michelin officials could not be reached for direct comment, but Randy Clark, director of marketing for Michelin Americas Truck Tires, praised the arrangement in a TruckersB2B.com press release.
"This program combines the convenience of purchase through the existing network of authorized Michelin dealers with the new world of e-commerce represented by TruckersB2B," Mr. Clark said.
Based in Indianapolis, TruckersB2B.com offers the benefits of a large purchasing organization to small and medium-sized truck fleets. According to Mr. Helms, TruckersB2B members—now representing a combined fleet of more than 130,000 trucks—can receive a discount of three cents per gallon on fuel, as well as similar breaks on parts, trailers and other products and services.
"This is the most fun thing I´ve ever done," he said. "Truckers are not going to give up anything (by becoming members), and it doesn´t cost anything to be a member."
Formerly known as Truckersco-op.com, TruckersB2B.com is majority-owned by Celadon Group Inc., a major Indianapolis trucking firm, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Celadon E-Commerce Inc.