ALLIANCE, Ohio (April 13, 2011) — Wholesale and retail tire distributor Terry's Tire Town Inc. has acquired Summit Tire of Massachusetts, taking over wholesale distribution warehouses in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire that service more than 3,000 customers throughout New England.
Summit Tire founders and former owners Ben Kravitz and Harvey Rudnick retain ownership of five retail stores in Massachusetts—operating as Mass Tire Auto Service Inc. and Windsor Tire & Auto Service—and will continue to advise Terry's Tire during the transition, Mr. Kravitz said.
A third partner, Frank Ledwith, continues full time with Terry's Tire, he added.
The acquistion, which closed in late February, expands Terry's Tire's American Car Care Centers Inc. (ACCC) footprint to 13 states, including all the New England states, according to Will Tolerton, president of Alliance-based Terry's Tire Town. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Summit's warehouses, in Brockton, Mass.; Nashau, N.H.; and Westbrook, Maine, stock more than 100,000 tires and maintain a fleet of more than 25 delivery vehicles, according to information posted on the firm's website.
Terry's Tire agreed to retain all of Summit's 100 or so employees and has named Dominic Wycoff, a 16-year Terry's Tire veteran, to oversee the New England operation, Mr. Tolerton said. Mr. Wycoff has run Terry's Richmond, Va., warehouse for the past several years.
Terry's will keep the Summit Tire name for the foreseeable future, Mr. Tolerton said, owing to its high recognition in the area. The only change in the works short-term, he said, will be to move the Brockton warehouse to a larger location—120,000 square feet vs. 60,000—in the same area and add Bridgestone and Firestone products and medium truck tires to the company's product mix.
Terry's also plans to expand Summit's “sell-out marketing services” to help individual dealers expand their sales and improve their bottom lines, Mr. Tolerton said, noting: “A transaction isn't done until the tires are on the vehicle and the customer's satisfied.”
Mr. Kravitz said the three partners felt this was the “best option for us and and our employees. Terry's has the same culture as we have here…very customer focused. They have a quality organization and quality people.”
As for the timing, the partners felt they'd reached the “stage of life where it's time to scale back,” Mr. Kravitz said. Messrs. Kravitz and Rudnick, both in in their early 60s, started into business together 40 years ago, opening a filling station in Norwood, Mass., in 1971 and their first tire store in 1975. They expanded into wholesaling in 1980.
Messrs. Kravitz and Tolerton have known each other for more than a decade, they said, primarily through their times together on the ACCC board of directors and on any number of golf courses.
“I told him several years ago when he was ready to exit to give me a call,” Mr. Tolerton said. “That 'call' came late last year while we were playing a round at Muirfield (Village Golf Club in Ohio).”
Besides ACCC, Summit Tire is allied with Continental Tire the Americas' Gold dealer program, Michelin North America Inc.'s Alliance Associate Dealer and Yokohama Tire Corp.'s Advantage Associate Dealer Program. Summit has 57 ACCC-affiliated stores in its territory, including the three Mass Tire and two Windsor Tire locations.
Terry's Tire Town also has wholesale distribution centers in Richmond, Va., Baltimore and Alliance, serving thousands of customers in eight states, along with seven retail stores in the Canton/Massillon, Ohio, area.
This deal is the first big move Terry's Tire has made since taking on Talisman Capital Partners of Columbus, Ohio, last fall as an investor, Mr. Tolerton said.