ITDG extends CEO's contract until 2009
SAN JOSE, Calif.-Independent Tire Dealers Group L.L.C. has extended the contract of President and CEO Michael Cox for another three years.
``We believe that providing for the continued services of Mr. Cox is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,'' said Chairman H. ``Skip'' Lightfoot. With the extension, Mr. Cox's contract will expire April 1, 2009. He joined the organization in April 2003.
Separately, ITDG said it also is in the final stages of forming a captive insurance company. The firm initially will handle workers' compensation insurance, then add general liability and possibly health and medical coverage. About 40 ITDG members will participate in the company's formation, though the program will be available to companies outside ITDG once it is established.
ITDG is made up of 95 members, including 54 shareholders, in 10 western states representing about 287 retail tire and service centers.
O.K. celebrates new warehouse opening
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario-O.K. Tire Stores Inc. held the grand opening ceremony of its Mississauga warehouse Jan. 14.
About 100 dealers, suppliers, board members, staff and guests attended the ceremony, the dealership cooperative said. Speakers included O.K. Tire CEO and President Ken MacLeod, Chairman Jean Trudel and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion.
``We are committed to meeting the demands of our dealers and customers with improved service levels,'' Mr. MacLeod said. ``Equally important, we are committed to working with our suppliers to fully support their growth in Ontario.''
The warehouse is more than 100,000 square feet and can support more than 50,000 tires. It's the largest of O.K. Tire's network of eight warehouses. The company supports 56 O.K. Tire stores and more than 300 wholesale accounts in Ontario.
Nebraska Tire to open distribution center
FIRTH, Neb.-Nebraska Tire plans to open a 30,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Firth this summer.
Bruce Docter, operations manager for Firth-based Nebraska Tire, said the new warehouse will replace three smaller facilities destroyed by a tornado last May. Nebraska Tire also maintains five other smaller warehouses, and those will continue to operate after the new center opens.
Mr. Docter said the dealership plans to break ground on the warehouse as soon as the weather improves.
He said the strong tornado last year completely destroyed the three warehouses, spewing tires out as far as seven miles away.
``It was raining tires,'' he said, adding about 50 residents returned tires to the dealership after the storm.
Nebraska Tire also plans to open two stores in the next few months, with potential acquisitions representing 10 to 15 more in the next year.
Dunn Tire installs nitrogen in all outlets
BUFFALO, N.Y.-Following a test run in a number of select outlets, Dunn Tire L.L.C. has expanded the availability of nitrogen tire inflation to all 26 of its stores in upstate New York and western Pennsylvania.
The Buffalo-based dealership is offering the service for passenger cars and trucks at a cost of $5 per tire without the purchase of new tires. No appointment is necessary.
Randy Clark, Dunn Tire chairman, said as more consumers ``understand the benefits of nitrogen, we believe they will want to take advantage of the potential gas savings, extended tire life and other benefits.''
The company has details on its Web site, www.dunntire.com, about how nitrogen technology works, its advantages and frequently asked questions.
Dunn Tire first began offering the service last June in its Buffalo stores and added it in September in selected Rochester, N.Y., stores.
Tires inflated with nitrogen are said to remain properly inflated longer and run cooler, resulting in longer tread life, lower rolling resistance and better gas mileage. Filling tires with nitrogen is a popular practice for race cars.
Direct Tire donates $31,600 to food bank
WATERTOWN, Mass.-Direct Tire & Auto Service donated more than $31,641 to the Greater Boston Food Bank as part of a commemoration of the dealership's 30th anniversary.
Direct Tire pledged to donate 3 percent of its sales from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31 to the food collection center. The Watertown-based dealership said the food bank can distribute $5 worth of food for every dollar donated, resulting in about 81,000 meals from the dealership's donation.
Direct Tire was founded in 1974 and has locations in Watertown, Norwood, Peabody and Natick, Mass.
Autco technicians receive certification
AMARILLO, Texas-Three technicians from Autco Tire & Service Center obtained professional certification recently from Bridgestone/Firestone and Michelin North America Inc.
Technicians Earl Hawk, Terry Pownell and Bill Sweitz completed 60 hours of Web-based training in product knowledge and application, the dealership said.
For their efforts, Autco owner Mark McCoy awarded each of the employees a Dell computer system.
The techs achieved the expert level status on their own time, the dealership said. Mr. Hawk has been at the dealership for three years, Mr. Pownell for 17 years and Mr. Sweitz for 15 years.
Amarillo-based Autco Tire is an American Car Care Centers affiliate and sells Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton, Michelin, Uniroyal and BFGoodrich tires at its single outlet. In January the company marked its 30th anniversary.
ETD settles wheel alignment complaints
TRENTON, N.J.-ETD Discount Tire Centers Inc. will pay $168,809 to resolve complaints arising from four-wheel alignments, though the company made no admission of liability, according to a statement from the New Jersey attorney general.
The payment will include $46,809 to customers. The complaints said ETD charged customers for four-wheel alignments on their vehicles even though the rear wheels were not designed to be adjusted, Attorney General Peter Harvey said.
Company officials did not return calls for comment.
The settlement covers about 3,000 customers who paid for the alignments after Jan. 1, 1999. Each customer will receive restitution of either $10.60 or $15.90, depending on their date of service.
ETD also agreed to pay $122,000 to the Division of Consumer Affairs for consumer initiatives. The attorney general's office said the dealership, which operates 11 stores in New Jersey, cooperated with the division to identify affected consumers and to take steps to ensure that future customers pay only for services provided.