The demise of Winston Tire last year proved a boon for A.T.V. Inc., as the Irwindale-based dealership snapped up four former Winston stores in Southern California to help it expand its network of American Tire Depot stores to 25.
The dealership, founded in 1991 by former Discount Tire franchisees Ara Tchaghlassian and Tony Akhian, plans to open its 26th outlet in November in Barstow, Calif.
General Manager Joe Garcia said A.T.V. also bought a single-store independent dealership in the past year to go with the four Winston stores. The company plans to add four to five outlets per year the next few years, either by acquisition or by opening from the ground up, as it concentrates on the Southern California market, he said.
``We don't grow just for the sake of numbers,'' Mr. Garcia said. ``Rather, we analyze each potential site, and we want only those situations that will become profitable for us.''
The new stores, including the one slated for opening in November, are in Pasadena, Eagle Rock, Whittier, Monrovia, Anaheim and Barstow.
A Michelin Americas Small Tires dealer, A.T.V. had sales last year of $23 million and is on target to hit $30 million this year. Besides MAST's Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brands, American Tire Depot carries Bridgestone, Firestone, Dunlop, Goodyear, Kelly, Kumho and Pirelli brands.
Eighty percent of the firm's business is tire and wheel sales-it advertises the availability of a dozen wheel brands-with automotive service comprising the rest.
A.T.V.'s founders, Messrs. Tchaghlassian and Akhian, started in 1991 with one Discount Tire franchise (under AKH Co. Inc.), and after opening a second franchise they set their sights on continued growth. The partners decided to open locations under the American Tire Depot banner and convert the two Discount Tire franchises to the new signage.
Two of A.T.V.'s outlets, in Bakersfield and Hawthorne, Calif., do business as 4 Day Tire Store, according to the company's Web site.