Independent Tire Dealers Group L.L.C. (ITDG) is on target for a record year and has added dealers in three states, expanding its geographic footprint to 25 states.
Through September, ITDG added 12 tire dealers operating 31 locations, according to ITDG President and CEO Michael Cox, including dealers in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Texas for the first time.
ITDG now has 125 members operating 341 tire and service center locations.
Mr. Cox declined to disclose the group's profit but said it would be a record payout in dividends to members. Total member purchases also have soared 51.6 percent through the nine-month period over 2009.
We knew tire demand was going to rebound, we just didn't know how much, Mr. Cox said of increased tire purchases. A lot of the competition has fallen by the wayside. The small independent that couldn't make it through, then you have the car dealerships. A lot of them are gone.
When those bays go away, people are still driving their miles and keeping their cars., he continued. That certainly equates into demand, and there's been some pent-up demand.
He said 2009 was the only year ITDG saw purchases fall through the group, and he attributed that to the loss of AmPac Tire Distributors Inc. as a supplier following its acquisition in late 2008 by American Tire Distributors Holdings Inc.
ITDG said it added vendors in 2010, including Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Michelin North America Inc.'s Tire Centers L.L.C. subsidiary.
The buying group also updated its website, itdgusa.com, and announced that ITDG's captive insurance company hired Jasmeen Ahdi Ubhi as in-house legal counsel and risk manager. The company, Independent Innovative Captive Insurance Co. Inc., also is contracting with Employer Support Group to focus on claims resolution.