Bauer Built Inc. is marking 60 years in business and 50 years in retreading this year.
Founded in Durand in 1944 by G.F. ``Sam'' Bauer, father of current President Jerry Bauer, Bauer Built is the sixth largest commercial dealership and the 11th largest retreader in North America, according to Tire Business' rankings. The dealership also is a petroleum distributor.
To celebrate the milestone, Bauer Built held its annual tire division meeting in February in Las Vegas and invited John Lampe, former chairman, president and CEO of Bridgestone/Firestone, to speak at the meeting. The company is thinking of holding a local celebration in Durand and of inviting its suppliers for a supplier appreciation meeting and golf outing, Jerry Bauer told Tire Business. He added that plans haven't been finalized and that the company will keep its celebrations localized to its headquarters.
``We're so spread out now that my guys in Nebraska could care less (about the anniversary),'' he said. ``They've been with me for three years. With a lot of our locations it's not a big deal.''
The company originally was called Bauer Oil Co. and began marketing retreads under the Bauer Built name in the late 1950s. The first retread shop had three truck tire and three passenger tire molds to produce six tires per day. Today, the dealership produces almost 1,000 retreads per day and has been known as Bauer Built-in association with its retreading business-since 1959.
Bauer Built operates seven Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. plants, 27 tire centers, eight Handy Mart convenience stores, a Handy Lube quick lube location, three car washes, a Subway franchise and a bulk oil petroleum distribution facility.
A family-owned business, the dealership at one point was owned by Sam Bauer, his wife and all eight of their children. Today, Jerry Bauer is principal owner, with his children and his sister's children owning stock in the company. Employees own 20 percent of the dealership through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan begun in 1990.