The typical retail outlet operated by North America's 100 largest independent dealerships got slightly bigger last year, according to an analysis of data submitted to Tire Business for its annual tire retailer rankings.
In 2005-06, the typical outlet generates about $1.99 million in sales, operating eight service bays. The sales are split 50/39/11 among tires, automotive service and other revenue sources. That split shows a big gain in the category of ``other revenue'' streams.
This year's data show the Top 100 dealers in the ranking by Tire Business operated 4,660 outlets as of Aug. 1, up 206 from 2005. The average dealer network was 47 stores with the median at 23 stores, up from 42 and 22, respectively, a year ago. While 41 dealers added stores during the past year, 13 closed at least one outlet.
The typical dealership carries eight brands-five and a half major brands, one private brand and one and a half import labels. The total was the same as a year ago, but the mix skewed more heavily in the import brand direction.
With only a few exceptions, the dealerships profiled this year are privately owned-predominantly family owned. Two, STS Tire and Purcell Tire Co., are employee stock-owned, and Monro Muffler Brake Inc. is publicly held.
TBC Corp., which operates Tire Kingdom Inc., NTB, Merchant's Tire and Big O Tires Inc., is owned by Sumitomo Corp. of America, a global trading firm that itself is publicly traded.
In Canada, Goodyear Canada 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 (74) of the top dealerships carry Goodyear as one of their brands, making it the No. 1 choice, this year's data indicate. Michelin was close behind at 72 dealerships, followed by BF Goodrich (63); Dunlop (60); Continental (49); Bridgestone (48); General (47); Uniroyal (45); Firestone (41); Kelly (38); Pirelli (35); Cooper (28); Yokohama (23); and Toyo (21).
When the dealerships' total outlets are factored in, the picture changes somewhat, with Michelin (5,188 outlets), its associated BFGoodrich brand (4,857), Bridgestone (4,709) and Continental (4,607) slipping ahead of Goodyear (4,598). The General brand follows closely ahead of Uniroyal and Dunlop.
Nearly a third of the dealerships are affiliated with Goodyear-either as a G110 dealer or a Gemini franchisee-while 18 are part of the Michelin Alliance and six are affiliated directly with Bridgestone/Firestone.
Eight of the dealers are part of American Car Care Centers Inc., operating 562 outlets. Seven dealerships comprising 506 outlets are members of Tire Alliance Groupe, and there also are three independent Big O Tires franchisees, controlling 48 outlets.