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Brad Ragan coming back?

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GLASGOW, Ky. (April 12, 2004) — An old, trusted name may reappear on the tire industry's radar screens.

BR Retreading Inc. in Glasgow, a dealership owned by Brad Ragan Jr., is negotiating with Goodyear on the possibility of doing business as Brad Ragan Tire, according to President Dennis Bull.

The dealership recently became an independent Goodyear commercial dealer, put up Goodyear signage and will host an open house for Goodyear officials April 13 to discuss selling new truck tires under the Brad Ragan banner, Mr. Bull said.

Mr. Ragan, who also is a partner in Cleveland, N.C.-based R.D.H. Tire and Retread Co., told Tire Business that if he could, he “probably would” bring Brad Ragan Tire back to the industry since his eldest son is in the business and is named Bradley Ragan.

But as to reclaiming the rights to do business as Brad Ragan Tire, he admitted that he wasn't “sure what the legal side of that would be.”

Goodyear purchased controlling interest in Brad Ragan Inc. in 1985 and became sole owner in 1999. In 2001 the Akron tire maker phased out the Brad Ragan name by either selling those stores or converting them to Goodyear Automotive Service Centers.

A Goodyear spokesman said he had no details on BR Retreading's talks with Goodyear about the Brad Ragan name and that the matter probably is “being handled by the legal department.”

BR Retreading retreads off-the-road tires using the Marangoni process exclusively. It operates a single commercial center and retread facility in Glasgow that has a capacity of 16,000 tires per year, according to Mr. Bull. BR Retreading sends its Goodyear truck tires to Raben Tire Co. Inc. for retreading, he added.

“We don't have room to do the truck tires here,” Mr. Bull told Tire Business. “We're at the max with the retread plant.”

The dealership also sells new industrial, OTR, farm and light truck tires and carries Yokohama and Firestone brands, he said, declining to disclose sales.

R.D.H. and BR Retreading are separate companies, but together Mr. Ragan said he expects them to retread 6.5 million pounds of tread rubber for OTR tires this year, a level that would rank first or second nationally.

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