CLEVELAND (Aug. 13, 2001)—CAW Automotive Parts, an auto parts wholesaler operated by Conrad's Tire Service Inc., was purchased in June by L.J. Hutchins Automotive Supply Inc.
Niagara Falls, N.Y.-based Hutchins will add a retail side to CAW's nine wholesale stores during the next three years, said CEO John Hutchins.
The parts operation was purchased from John Turk and the Conrad family, who operate 25 independent Goodyear retail tire and auto service outlets. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
CAW currently has six stores in the Cleveland area, two in Canton, Ohio, and one in Pittsburgh, and produces about $14 million in annual sales, said Dave Thorman, Hutchins' chief operating officer.
He told Tire Business Conrad's decided to get out of the parts business, and the change in ownership is occuring without “missing a beat with the customers.” Hutchins plans to keep all 150 CAW employees.
Mr. Hutchins said he plans to expand the chain, and Cleveland-area CAW stores will be the main parts supplier to Conrad's Tire outlets. A Hutchins retail/wholesale store is slated to open this month next door to a Conrad's Tire location.
Mr. Turk, Conrad's president/CEO, said the firm will focus on growing its other businesses. Those include Conrad's Tire; S&H Industries of Bedford Heights, Ohio, a manufacturer of sandblasters and automotive body and production tools; Elyria Spring and Specialties; and Professional Automotive Career Training Inc., a national automotive technical training center based in Cleveland.
Shannon Mortland writes for Crain´s Cleveland Business, a sister publication of Tire Business. Tire Business Managing Editor Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk contributed to this report.