O.K. Tire Stores Inc. of Langley, British Columbia, has continued its eastward expansion by opening a 30,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Baie d'Urfe, Quebec.
The franchise group's seventh warehouse will serve 30 O.K. Tire dealers in Quebec, said O.K. President Don Blythe, and is designed to accommodate a 40,000-sq.-ft. expansion.
O.K. Tire opened the new facility in the spring and sponsored a grand opening on Sept. 18.
The new structure also is the base for O.K. Tire's first venture into the wholesale business in the province, Mr. Blythe said. "This is our first entry into that market," he said, "and we're gradually working up our clientele."
O.K. Tire has been in Quebec for about five years and plans to add about six more dealers there by the end of the year. "We know the warehouse is not going to be big enough," Mr. Blythe said. "We had no idea how big we should build it."
There are more than 200 O.K. Tire franchises throughout Canada. The group had estimated sales of about $144 million last year.
David Early Tires & Service of Salt Lake City plans to open its 17th location in early February, in Draper City, Utah.
The outlet will employ 15-20 and have 10 auto and tire service bays with an additional three-bay section for express oil changes and state-mandated air quality inspections.
Although President David Early Jr. said the "Draper city people were concerned about its appearance," he described the new facility as a "nice building with attractive colors."
The addition of this location gives Early Tire a total of 164 service bays. The dealership will build one more store by year-end, he said, and has a contract to acquire another dealership that will give Early Tire 19 locations.
"We're just getting back into the expansion game," Mr. Early said. "We're getting some size and strength and doing some great business here." Early Tire also hopes to add two locations in 2002, he said.
Mr. Early estimated last year's sales at about $13 million—a gain of $1 million over 1999.
Capital City Tire in Ottawa, Ontario, has joined the Tirecraft Auto Centers Ltd. group of associate dealers.
"I was looking for somebody with different brands," Capital City Owner Gilles Masson said. "I can buy everything from them."
Tirecraft offers Michelin, Uniroyal, BFGoodrich, Dayton, General, Continental, Hankook, Yokohama, Pirelli and several other brands.
Since joining Tirecraft last year, Mr. Masson said Capital City's passenger tire and auto mechanical sales have increased about 25 percent. Tirecraft's credit card program also has benefited the dealership's commercial customers, Mr. Masson said.
In addition to affiliating with Tirecraft, Capital City moved its Ottawa location into a new 15,000-sq.-ft. facility. The dealership also has a store in Hull, Quebec, and plans to open a five-bay retail and commercial tire location in Gatineau, Quebec, about a 15-minute drive from Ottawa.
Capital City also operates a Bandag retread plant, which produces up to 100 tires per day.
Fountain Tire Corp.'s corporate office received ISO 9002 certification in November from the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization (which uses the acronym ISO).
The Edmonton, Alberta-based dealership said it is the first tire industry corporate office in Canada to be so registered.
Fountain Tire received the ISO 9002 designation after a year-long audit of the office by ISO auditors, who inspected the processes then awarded the certification.
"We are constantly improving our business," said Brian Hesje, Fountain Tire president and CEO in a company statement. "We saw the value in the ISO 9002 quality process. That meant achieving certification at our corporate facility before suggesting that our retreading partners join the effort."
Fountain Tire's eight retreading facilities are also going through the ISO 9002 process and expect to be certified in the spring. The dealership also has 138 company-owned and associate stores in western Canada.