With its latest acquisition, Tirecraft Auto Centers Ltd. plans to expand its commercial service offerings in the Edmonton, Alberta, area.
Sherwood Park-based Tirecraft bought Du-all Tire Centers Ltd. of Edmonton for an undisclosed amount, putting Tirecraft's total commercial and commercial/retail locations at 167. Tirecraft already operates about five locations around Edmonton, but the Du-all outlet will directly service the city, said Darrell Sept, director of marketing.
``It really strengthens our service network,'' he said.
With one location, Du-all sold commercial and retreaded tires for about 30 years, Mr. Sept said. The outlet did not produce its own retreads. While he did not disclose the company's former retread supplier, Mr. Sept said retreads will be purchased from Canadian Treads Corp. of Edmonton, Tirecraft's main retread supplier, which uses the Oliver Rubber Co. process.
Tirecraft entered the retreading arena in mid-2001 with its acquisition of majority ownership of Attersley Tire Service Ltd., a commercial fleet distributor with nine commercial outlets and three Bandag retread facilities in southern Ontario. Since then Tirecraft Commercial/Attersley added a fourth retread plant by buying Capital City Tire Co. of Ottawa, Ontario, last October; it expanded output 50 percent over 2001, to 500 units daily.
``We're going to continue to consider other acquisitions where there are open or void markets for us that would do commercial and retreading,'' Mr. Sept said.
He said Tirecraft also is looking to continue its expansion into eastern Canada, including possible locations on the Atlantic Coast.
But the Du-all purchase is aimed primarily at the 24-hour service network the company's three service trucks would offer, Mr. Sept said. The outlet will soon bear the Tirecraft name, and it will sell Michelin, Continental, General, BFGoodrich, Hankook and Yokohama brand commercial tires like other Tirecraft outlets.
Tirecraft-which had 2002 sales of $224.2 million-does not expect a large sales impact from the Du-all acquisition, Mr. Sept said.