Ziegler to rebuild destroyed outlet
MASSILLON, Ohio-Ziegler Tire & Supply Co. plans to begin construction soon on its Youngstown, Ohio, location that was destroyed by a tornado last August.
William Ziegler, president of the 19-outlet commercial dealership, said the company had to resolve some environmental issues involving gas tanks that had been on the site, but those should be resolved in a month. A separate warehouse, which was not damaged by the F1 tornado, served as temporary offices.
Three employees were in the office at the time of the tornado, but no one was seriously injured. The center's service trucks all were out on calls and were not damaged, and no customers or their trucks were at the site.
Mr. Ziegler said construction on the new outlet should take about four months. The new building will be larger and also include some drive-through service bays. The company also is working with the city to expand the site to better position the building.
Dealership wins BBB Torch award
NORWALK, Ohio-Williams Norwalk Tire & Alignment won a Better Business Bureau Torch Award last month in the small business category.
The award was presented by the Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan chapter of the BBB. About 100 companies were nominated in the small, medium and large categories, the BBB said.
``You cannot imagine the shock we were in when they announced our name as the winner in the small category,'' owners Jim and Vicki Williams wrote to Tire Business. ``We felt like we won the Emmys.''
The dealership was nominated by customers Ed and Linda Zielinski. Mrs. Williams said the customers nominated the company after she drove Mrs. Zielinski 20 minutes home and picked her up again later while her truck was in the shop.
``They felt we went above the call of duty, plus they said they felt we did business the old-fashioned way, that they could trust us with our word and a handshake,'' Mrs. Williams wrote. ``But Jim and I felt we did nothing more than any other reputable business would do.''
Norwalk Tire employs seven and has been in business for 16 years.
``We normally do not brag about ourselves,'' Mrs. Williams continued. ``But we feel that by receiving this great honor that we represent all the independent automotive dealers that share similar codes of ethics in running their business.''
Briggs & Sons adds 11th outlet
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.-Briggs & Sons Tire has converted a former Buffalo Tire & Car Care store in New Bern, N.C., to its 11th Briggs outlet.
Rob Briggs, son of owners Bob and Barbara Briggs, will manage the store. Mrs. Briggs said her son had left the family business for a few years before deciding to return to run the new store.
Mrs. Briggs said Briggs Tire bought three Buffalo Tire stores in Raleigh, N.C., last year and bought the New Bern site this year. Those deals were just for the locations themselves, not the larger business.
Buffalo Tire, a unit of wholesaler Target Tire Inc., still operates three outlets in Jacksonville, N.C., according to the dealership's Web site.
Briggs & Sons sells Goodyear, Kelly, Dunlop, Republic, Michelin, Bridgestone and Firestone brands.
Performance Tire marks expansion
TOPEKA, Kan.-Performance Tire and Wheel recently celebrated the expansion of one store in Topeka with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a speech by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s chief executive.
Jerry Glasgow, president of the dealership, said the store was expanded to include a showroom, more offices, a break room and storage. The store, one of the dealership's two outlets, is also the company's headquarters. Mr. Glasgow said the expansion was needed primarily for the storage space.
Tom Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO of Cooper, was the guest of honor at the event. Mr. Glasgow said Performance Tire, whose product mix is 95 percent Cooper products, has been affiliated with Cooper for 33 years. Besides retail sales, the dealership also sells some commercial and farm tires.
Big O stores join Tirecraft in Canada
SHERWOOD PARK, Alberta-Three former Big O Tires Inc. stores in British Columbia have joined Tirecraft Auto Centers as associate locations, Sherwood Park-based Tirecraft said.
Along with two other stores opened recently in Duncan and Nanaimo, British Columbia, the Tirecraft chain has about 40 stores in the western Canadian province. In total, Tirecraft has more than 170 stores in Canada. Tirecraft oversees both company-owned and associate stores.
The three former Big O stores will retain their individual ownership, a Tirecraft spokeswoman said. The stores are in Cranbrook, Trail and Creston.
``Joining Tirecraft will enable us to offer more national brands; it's better for the customer and us,'' said Gord Hansen, owner of the Creston location. His son Ken owns the store in Cranbrook, and Gerry Woodhouse the outlet in Trail.
Dealership hosts charity golf outing
WHITEVILLE, N.C.-Black's Tire Service will host the Boys & Girls Home Charity Golf Tournament June 25 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Boys & Girls Home charity is a non-profit, non-sectarian home for children in Lake Waccamaw, N.C. It provides out-of-home child care for at-risk children in residential care, family foster care and emergency care placement.
Last year, Black Tire's golf outing raised $12,750 for the charity. This year the dealership hopes to raise $15,000.
Strouhal Tire switches to MRTI
HUNGERFORD, Texas-Strouhal Tire Inc. is switching to Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. (MRTI) as it consolidates its two Bandag Inc. plants into one facility in Hungerford, according to Michelin.
``We have been a Michelin tire dealer since 1974, and we're looking forward to expanding our relationship with Michelin Retread Technologies,'' said Don Strouhal, chief operating officer for the tire dealership, in a Michelin statement.
Family-owned Strouhal Tire has been a Bandag retreader since 1972, according to the firm's Web site. At last report, the dealership had capacity for 300 units a day at its two plants.
With the conversion, there will be 23 MRTI-franchised retreaders in the U.S. and Canada, operating 45 plants. The tire maker said it now has about 200 points of sale in North America for its retreads.
VIP opens store, has fundraiser
LEWISTON, Maine-VIP Parts, Tires & Service has opened its 49th location-a converted Quirk Tires and Service outlet in Watertown, Mass.-and also raised nearly $68,000 for a charity foundation earlier this year.
The 20,000-sq.-ft. shop was a Quirk Tires outlet that continued to operate after September 2001 when Quirk Tire acquired VIP and merged its locations. With the change to VIP, the store underwent a $1.4 million renovation that expanded the shop to 18 bays-the fourth largest store for the VIP chain.
``We will look to expand in Boston by choosing our real estate carefully and focusing on existing buildings to renovate,'' said John Quirk, president and CEO of the Lewiston-based dealership. He added that the ``cost in this market for real estate is much higher than in Maine and New Hampshire where the majority of our locations are currently.''
VIP said it plans continued expansion in 2004 and 2005, with five to eight new stores slated for the Greater Boston area. The dealership operates in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
``We want to continue to be aggressive with our growth plan,'' Mr. Quirk said.
VIP also raised $67,984 for the Ricky Craven Charity, a foundation that serves as a fundraising source for the Marrow Foundation, Children's Miracle Network, the Make A Wish Foundation, the Travis Roy Foundation and Give Kids the World. The foundation's namesake is professional NASCAR driver Ricky Craven, VIP's spokesman.
The dealership raised money by soliciting $1 donations at VIP stores and by offering a Ricky Craven signature snowmobile in a drawing.
O.K. Tire gives awards to dealers
LANGLEY, British Columbia-O.K. Tire Stores Inc. presented its national, regional and Rising Star awards to its dealers at the company's annual conference in Hawaii.
The National Store of the Year award was presented to siblings Aline and Denis Albert of O.K. Centre du Pneu in Chomedey Laval, Quebec. Regional awards went to Ian and Janice Beaton of Westbank, British Columbia; Terry Babcock and Stan Herperger of Regina, Saskatchewan; Jean-Rene Roberge and Nicole Roberge of Ville-Marie, Quebec; and Rejean Godin of Tracadie-Sheila, New Brunswick.
The Rising Star Awards were presented to Joseph and Bonny Fritz, Steve Legros and Joanne Sanders of Nelson, British Columbia; and Vince Sisca of Toronto.
Also at the annual meeting, O.K. Tire elected three new members to its board of directors for this year. They are Mark Frankland of Campbell River, British Columbia; Tim Togeretz of Kitchener, Ontario; and Colin Fraser of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Fraser's position was created to provide representation for O.K. Tire's expanding dealer base in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The board has seven other members.