Travel plaza operator Flying J Inc. will soon be stocking Continental truck tires at its 14 J-Care Service Centers nationwide, according to terms of an agreement signed with Continental Tire North America Inc.'s Commercial Group.
The J-Care Service Centers provide full-service truck repairs, lube and oil, tires and wash, Continental said. Flying J plans to open 14 more J-Care centers in the coming few months, and has long-term plans to add the full service centers at 30 more plazas. Altogether, Flying J operates 151 travel plazas in 41 states and two Canadian provinces and has 30 more under construction or in advanced planning.
Through this distribution agreement Conti hopes to expand its business with smaller fleets and become a larger player in the owner operator market, according to Gary Nichols, Conti's national manager, fleet sales.
``Until now there were potential customers who were aware of Continental's reputation for engineering excellence, but could not easily access the product over the road,'' Mr. Nichols said. ``By increasing our presence into the travel plaza channel, we are able to make the product available to new markets.''
The move also allows Conti to provide improved service to its expanding fleet account business, he said.
``This agreement with Flying J will provide our national accounts with critical access to meet emergency road replacement needs in convenient locations,'' he said. ``(Conti's) entrance into the travel plaza market was a natural and necessary move to service our growing fleet customer base.''
Flying J, established as a small petroleum marketing company in 1968 with four retail gasoline stations, claims to be the largest retail distributor of diesel fuel in North America. With 2001 sales of $4.2 billion, it ranks as one of the 50 largest privately held companies in the U.S. Flying J also stocks Bridgestone, Firestone, Michelin and Yokohama tires at its J-Care Service Centers.