The typical retail tire outlet operated by one of North America's 100 largest dealerships employs 13, contains 7.5 service bays, carries 7.5 tire brands and generates $1.81 million in sales, split 55/41 between tires and automotive service.
This profile is gleaned from information from surveys submitted by more than 100 U.S. and Canadian dealerships for Tire Business' annual look at the tire retailing business in North America.
The top 100 dealers (110 actually, thanks to a 14-way tie for the 92nd spot) operated 3,847 stores as of Aug. 1, 2003, or an average of 35 stores per dealership. The median dealership size is 19 stores.
The average store sales of $1.81 million was up significantly from the $1.27 million reported in 2001 and $1.37 million in 2000, according to data from 60 dealerships that provided sales numbers.
The tire share of the average store's sales was up slightly from a year ago, with the auto service component staying constant. Revenue from other sources was down slightly to 4 percent.
Of those companies that supplied information, the tire share of their sales ranged from as low as 25 percent up to 100 percent, with auto service comprising as low as 0 percent up to a high of 75 percent. About two of every five dealerships said tires represented less than half of their sales income.
Automotive service continues to be significantly more profitable, according to those surveyed. The profit margin on automotive service last year was 65.1 percent (in a range from 30 to 80 percent) vs. 32.5 percent for tires and wheels (in a range from 19 to 70 percent), according to the data from the 61 dealers who responded to the question. The average is up slightly for tires and down slightly for service from the 2002 survey results.
Of the 110 dealerships profiled in the charts in this issue, three are publicly owned (including one by a foreign corporation), two are employee stock-owned, and the rest are privately owned-predominantly family owned. In addition, in Canada, Goodyear owns 49 percent of Fountain Tire and also is a minority shareholder in Coast Tire & Auto Service Ltd.
Among the 110 dealerships highlighted in this section, two are headed by women-Barbara Briggs at the helm of Briggs and Sons Tire of Fayetteville, N.C., and Karen Mensler, CEO of Friends Tire & Hi Tech Service of Indian Point, N.C.
The rest are headed by men, although a measurable percentage of the family-owned dealerships list the top executive's wife as an officer of the company and/or a co-owner.
Goodyear continues to be the brand of choice by the leading dealers, with 78 of the 110 dealers ranked naming it as one of the brands they carry. Michelin was next at 69 dealerships, followed by BFGoodrich, 58, Dunlop, 57, Uniroyal and Bridgestone, 45 each, Kelly-Springfield, 41, Firestone, 37, Continental, 34, General, 33, Pirelli, 31, and Cooper, 26.
When total outlets carrying the brands are considered, the picture is somewhat different, with Michelin and its associated BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brands coming to the fore.
Of the typical dealership's brands, five are manufacturers' flag or associate brands, with each dealership also carrying one to two private and/or import brands.