Tire Centers L.L.C. (TCI) is expanding distribution for its T3 Certified Tire Centers dealers with the opening of distribution centers in Phoenixville, Pa., Marlboro, N.Y., and Little Rock, Ark.
``These new distribution centers are located in geographic areas important to the development of T3,'' said Dave Snyder, TCI vice president, small tire marketing, in a prepared statement. ``It's important that our distribution centers are located within no more than one day's driving distance from T3 program dealers.''
These new warehouses, the 28th, 29th and 30th across the country, represent new territories for the T3 program, Mr. Snyder said, and are instrumental to TCI's plans to expand the T3 retailer network.
Earlier this year Mr. Snyder said TCI intended to enter four new markets and add about 100 dealers before mid-2003.
In the Philadelphia area, for example, TCI hopes to enroll 10 to 20 dealers in the first year and up to 50 overall, according to Robert Hendrick, dealer development manager for the Mid-Atlantic region. Nationwide, there are about 300 T3 dealers, up from 100 in 2000 when TCI rolled out the program, Mr. Snyder said.
The Little Rock center services Arkansas, while the Marlboro site is responsible for New York City and Long Island.The centers, opened Aug. 6, will be managed by Ken Scott and Andy LaPorta, respectively. The Phoenixville unit will service the Philadelphia/Mid-Atlantic States region for its T3 retailer network.
TCI will begin service to dealers in this area Sept. 1 from the leased 30,000-sq-ft. center, according to Phil McConnon, the manager of the new center.
TCI will offer daily delivery service to many locations within a 100-mile radius and twice-daily deliveries to dealers in the metro Philadelphia area, he said.
Starting with 30,000 tires delivered this first year, TCI hopes to build volume from the Phoenixville site to 200,000 units annually, Mr. McConnon said.
TCI notified dealers in the area of the new distribution scheme on Aug. 6 with a reception attended by representatives of several local dealerships and TCI and Michelin executives.
The center's distribution footprint includes Lancaster, Reading, Harrisburg and Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, Pa., southern New Jersey and Delaware. TCI will offer the Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal and the T3-exclusive Trivant brands.
Each of the centers has a fleet of delivery trucks that will service T3 dealers daily. Mr. Snyder said that dealers in these new areas now have the opportunity of placing and tracking orders 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through using the T3 Extranet system.
TCI's distribution centers are located in 24 states, coast to coast, but with gaps in the Southeast/Smokey Mountains and the upper Great Plains, according to company data.
T3-the ``T'' stands for TCI and the 3 for the attributes of selection, value and service-was launched in August 2000. TCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Michelin North America Inc.