Bauer Built Inc. has increased its distribution capabilities in the Midwest by acquiring the assets of distributor Great Plains Tire Centers, based in Seward, Neb.
Great Plains has locations in Lincoln, Norfolk, Grand Island and Seward and serves a large portion of the Nebraska commercial market. ``We've been working on it for about a year,'' Bauer Built President Jerry Bauer said of the deal. ``They were ready to dispose of the tire business.''
The four Great Plains facilities range from between 13,500 and 28,000 square feet, Mr. Bauer said. The company employed approximately 60.
Mr. Bauer said that in addition to maintaining the Great Plains name, most of the employees would also remain. Former Great Plains president Dave Coufal will become a Bauer Built regional sales director. Mr. Bauer did say that some downsizing would occur due to the elimination of Great Plains' Bandag retread shop in Norfolk.
Great Plains sells predominantly Michelin and BFGoodrich products, but Mr. Bauer said that all Bauer Built products would also be available. He added that the move made sense from a location standpoint.
``It's adjacent to existing markets that we're doing business with,'' he said. ``We've been doing a fair amount of business in Nebraska without a physical presence there.
Paul Weaver said his company, Southern Indiana Tire, needed more space, and it got it.
Having moved out of its former distribution center in April, the 21-retail and wholesale store operation's headquarters took residence in a new 108,000-sq.-ft. center in Princeton, Ind.
The 30-year-old dealership has grown from a one-building, one-bay operation to 21 stores in four states with more than 275 employees. The new distribution center is the working home of 53 people.
``We needed space. We had nowhere to grow (in the old location),'' said Mr. Weaver, SIT president. He noted the former distribution center had less than half the square footage of the new one, which also serves as the company's training facility and corporate offices.
Southern Indiana Tire, which also supplies tires to more than 50 dealers in the tri-state area, sells Bridgestone, Firestone Mastercraft, Michelin, some Goodyear products and is a Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Starz distributor. The company operates Bandag retread facilities in Owensboro, Ky., and St. Louis.
Mr. Weaver said Southern Indiana Tire, which is part of the Zurcher Group, primarily retails but does sell some specialty tires, including those for underground mining equipment. SIT is also adding a wheel conditioning process for rims and a foam fill department.
Discount Tire Co., of Scottsdale, Ariz., is considering entering the Minneapolis/St. Paul market.
A spokeswoman for the dealership confirmed that the company is in negotiations for new stores in the Twin Cities, but no deal has been finalized.
Discount Tire, which operates 450 locations in 18 states, is North America's third largest independent tire dealership, according to Tire Business' rankings.
Allen Park, Mich.-based Belle Tire Distributors Inc. plans to open four retail outlets in southeastern Michigan from August through November, according to Vice President Jeff Kruse.
The four 10-bay service centers currently are under construction and will be located in Fenton, White Lake, Dearborn Heights and Commerce. The new stores follow a recent expansion wave by Belle Tire, which opened a 500,000-sq.-ft. commercial tire center and Bandag retread plant in Garfield Heights, Ohio, and a retail outlet in Canton, Mich., last December. Mr. Kruse declined to comment further on Belle's expansion plans.
One of North America's 10 largest independent retail chains, Belle Tire operates seven commercial truck tire centers, five Bandag shops and 61 retail stores, which include some commercial centers.
Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. has announced it is teaming with Theisen's Home, Farm, Auto to market Hoosier products in Theisen's 12 eastern Iowa locations. Hoosier will supply street tires.
``Tony (Theisen) and the entire Theisen family see the value our niche products can provide and are fully committed to furthering the Hoosier street tire name in the Iowa marketplace,'' Hoosier Sales Manager Shanon Rush said in a statement.
With the addition of Theisen's, Hoosier now has 290 points of sale in 26 states.
Theisen's is a multi-faceted retailer, with dealings in everything from toys to pet supplies to electrical and plumbing supply. Theisen's has been a member of Mid-States Distributing Co. since 1952. Mid-States is a multi-billion-dollar company with more than 500 stores. Theisen's originally opened its doors in 1927 in Dubuque, Iowa, and operates a dozen stores.