The typical retail outlet operated by one of North America's 100 largest independent dealerships keeps getting bigger, year by year, according to an analysis of data submitted to Tire Business for the annual rankings.
In 2004/05, the typical outlet generates about $1.95 million in sales with 13 employees, operating eight service bays. The sales are split 55/40/5 among tires, automotive service and other revenue sources.
The typical dealership carries eight brands-five major brands and one to two private and/or import labels.
According to this year's data, the Top 100 dealers in the ranking by Tire Business-107 actually, due to an 11-way tie for 97th-operated 4,540 outlets as of Aug. 1, up 169 from 2004. The average dealer network was 42 stores with the median at 22 stores, up from 40 and 20, respectively, a year ago.
The average profit margin on automotive service last year was 65 percent (in a range from 45 to 88 percent) vs. 33 percent for tires and wheels (in a range from 25 to 60 percent), according to the data from the 58 dealers who responded to the question. The averages were down slightly for both tires and service from the 2004 survey results.
With only a few exceptions, the dealerships profiled this year are privately owned-predominantly family owned. Two (STS Tire and Purcell Tire) are employee stock-owned, and one-TBC Corp. (which operates Tire Kingdom Inc. and Big O Tires Inc.)-is publicly held, although it is being bought by Sumitomo Corp. of America, a global trading firm.
In addition, in Canada, Goodyear owns 49 percent of Fountain Tire in Alberta and also is a minority shareholder in Coast Tire & Auto Service Ltd. in Nova Scotia.
About three-fourths (76) of the top dealerships carry Goodyear as one of their brands, making it the No. 1 choice, according to this year's data. Michelin was next at 67 dealerships, followed by Dunlop (60), BFGoodrich (56), Bridgestone (48), Uniroyal (45), General and Firestone (44 each), Continental (43), Kelly (42), Cooper (34), Pirelli (33), Toyo (28) and Hankook (27).
When the dealerships' total outlets are factored in, the picture changes somewhat, with Michelin and its associated BFGoodrich brand slipping ahead of Goodyear. The General brand follows closely ahead of Bridgestone, Uniroyal and Dunlop.