DELPHOS, Ohio (Dec. 7, 2010) — Wholesale tire distributor K&M Tire Inc.'s recent acquistion of Triton Tire & Battery's assets includes the Mr. Tire affiliated dealer program, which counts more than 190 outlets throughout a 15-state territory stretching from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.
K&M sees great potential for the Mr. Tire dealer program, according to K&M President Ken Langhals said, but the wholesaler is still evaluating its options regarding the direction of the marketing cooperative, established by a predecessor of Triton Tire owner Universal Cooperatives Inc. in 1969.
K&M acquired Triton Tire's assets—leased warehouses in Jacksonville, Ark.; Wichita, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Bismarck, N.D.; and Eagan; customer lists, rights to the Mr. Tire name and program, rights to the Co-Op tire brand, etc.—in early November for an undisclosed price.
Mr. Langhals noted that Universal Cooperatives licensed use of the Mr. Tire name to Monro Muffler Brake Inc. for use in a number of states east of the Mississippi River. As such, K&M plans to meet soon with Monro to discuss the future of that arrangement, since K&M's traditional territory—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin—overlaps with some of Monro's footprint.
Universal Cooperatives did not comment specifically on its reasons for selling Triton Tire but issued a statement attributed to CEO Terrance Bohman: “…(A)s Universal Cooperatives positions itself for the future, we're mindful of the important contributions made by all of the Triton employees and the importance of continued availability of quality tire and battery products for our customers.
“It was very important to Universal that Triton join a company like K&M that is committed to serving our customers in agriculture.”
Farm tires make up roughly one-fourth of Triton Tire's sales, Mr. Langhals said.