Ramona Tire & Service Centers of Hemet, Calif., has opened a nine-bay retail store in Temecula, Calif., and plans a grand opening celebration May 17-20.
The dealership, which operates 13 stores throughout Southern California, will give away prizes at all of its locations, including sets of tires-and tickets to local auto races and entertainment events in conjunction with the Temecula store's opening, said Vice President Chris Wyborny. Ramona Tire will offer drive-by specials and promote through radio advertising. The Temecula outlet will employ 13.
The dealership also plans to open a store in Murrieta, Calif., within the next 12-14 months, Mr. Wyborny said.
Ramona Tire, which posted 2000 sales of $18 million, carries BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Firestone, Continental, Dayton, Hankook, Michelin, Pirelli and Yokohama brands. The 30-year-old dealership is owned by Donald Digby.
Ziegler Tire & Supply Co. opened two commercial tire centers in Altoona and Erie, Pa.
The Massillon, Ohio-based commercial dealership is offering strictly commercial services at these locations along with 24-hour roadside services, but no retreading, said John Ziegler Jr., vice president.
He declined to say if the company will expand further into Pennsylvania other than it ``just depends on the opportunity.''
Mr. Ziegler said the dealership has no other expansion plans, but would like to add one to three more outlets this year if the ``opportunities present themselves.''
Ziegler Tire, which posted 2000 sales of $60 million, is the 19th largest commercial dealership in North America with commercial sales of $39 million.
St. Louis-based Dobbs Tire and Auto Centers Inc. closed a 5,000-sq.-ft. store and replaced it with a nearby 11,000-sq.-ft. outlet in the St. Louis area April 2.
The new, 10-bay outlet, situated near a new shopping mall in Clayton, Mo., is the first of three stores Dobbs plans to open this year as it expands in St. Louis, according to President and COO David Dobbs. The dealership closed a four-bay shop located in a leased building in an area where the city was widening the main road, he said.
``It's always nice to have a brand new'' anything-especially retail locations, Mr. Dobbs told Tire Business.
To celebrate the Clayton store's grand opening, the company held a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 18 and gave away tires and service deals.
Dobbs Tire also opened registration for customers to win a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am, which the company will give away in June when it celebrates its 25th anniversary and opens two other stores, in Chesterfield and St. Charles, Mr. Dobbs said.
With 2000 sales of $62 million and 36 locations, Dobbs Tire is North America's 18th largest retail dealership, according to Tire Business rankings.
Portland, Ore.-based Northwest Tire Factory L.L.C. has signed its first member in Alaska-Qwik Three Inc. of Anchorage.
Qwik Three initially will convert one of its three Anchorage stores to the Northwest Tire Factory banner-calling it the Anchorage Tire Factory-then eventually convert its other two locations, said John Coon, operations manager of Qwik Three.
The company specializes in auto repair, emissions testing and computer diagnostics.
Tire sales currently comprise less than 10 percent of Qwik Three's business, but the firm hopes to increase that to 30-40 percent as a Tire Factory member, Mr. Coon said.
Qwik Three had left the tire business temporarily several years ago because it couldn't compete with price clubs like Costco, Mr. Coon said. The company decided to look for a tire supplier at last year's International Tire Expo in Las Vegas, and Mr. Coon read a published article about Tire Factory CEO Nick Hodel, who was assuming the presidency of the Tire Association of North America at the time.
``It's funny, I read this article and I said, `that guy's just like me,''' Mr. Coon said, referring to Mr. Hodel's business philosophy and values.
Mr. Coon then convinced Qwik Three owner Wally Hopkins to contact Mr. Hodel and sign a contract with Tire Factory.
The new Anchorage site is slated to open in late April. It will carry Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly and Hallmark brands and is Northwest Tire Factory's 147th member, Mr. Hodel said. Qwik Three posts annual sales of about $3.5 million, Mr. Coon said.