FORT MILL, S.C.Longtime commercial tire and retread industry veteran Scott Snyder has founded DLS Retreading Inc. in Fort Mill, an independent commercial tire dealership and ContiLifeCycle retread licensee.
Mr. Snyder established the new business in an existing 72,000-sq.-ft. structure with 16,000 square feet devoted to retread production. Mr. Snyder, president and CEO, is overseeing an initial investment of $1.1 million to get the business up and running, with total investment to reach about $2.5 million by the time the plant's at full capacity.
Mr. Snyder, a 25-year industry veteran with experience at Berlin Tire, TCi Tire Centers and Snider Tire Inc., called the chance to get involved with ContiLifeCycle a phenomenal opportunity.
The DLS in the company name borrows from the DLS moniker Mr. Snyder's father, tire industry veteran Dave Snyder, coined for the DLS Tire Centers retail tire business he started in 2010.
The two businesses are completely separate entities, however.
The plant started trial production June 1 and is operating at about 40 to 60 tires a day in the start-up phase, Mr. Snyder said, with one curing chamber. Long term, the plant should expand to three chambers, increasing capacity to about 300 tires a day with more than 50 employees.
Mr. Snyder said he'd been in discussions with Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. representatives for about a year to get the business off the ground. He signed the LifeCycle franchise agreement in May and said launching the business could not have happened without Conti's partnership.
We have truly worked together as a team and what makes this the most intriguing is that Continental has taken a year to work with our family, providing resources and capital, to make sure that we could get into this market successfully, Mr. Snyder said.
I feel confident that with Continental's help, our company and ContiTreads are the perfect fit for this area.
DLS Retreading will be selling new Continental- and General-brand truck tires along with Contitread retreads, he said, and will recruit a team of associate dealers as well.
For Continental, establishing this company in Fort Mill reflects a need for a quality dealer/retreader in the Carolinas and finding a reliable partner in Mr. Snyder, according to Paul Williams, executive vice president, commercial vehicle tires.
Having the plant there so close to Conti's North American headquarters also provides a convenient platform for training new employees and showing potential LifeCycle licensees a working shop, he added.
DLS Retreading has been a great ambassador already for Continental products, and we look forward to helping them continue their success, Mr. Williams said.
Mr. Snyder said he expects the business to generate $1 million a month in sales by year-end, and he said he has a very aggressive growth plan for the next five years.
South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said the state's automotive sector continues to create jobs, and announcements like this one build on our reputation in the tire industry. DLS Retreading will create good-paying jobs that will have an impact in Lancaster County and beyond.
DLS Retreading's facility, a former building goods warehouse, has 11 drive-up service docks and sufficient size for expansion. The company will have a wheel refurbishing/powder coating facility in house, for example, Mr. Snyder said.
The new shop is the first of Continental's licensees in the U.S. to be a completely new retreading venture, with no pre-existing operations, Mr. Snyder said.
Continental is a top-tier truck tire, and everyone wants to try their solution of new tires with matching retreads. Now we're here to help prove to these local fleets, with Continental's support, that Continental is an excellent choice for their life-cycle needs, he said.
DLS Retreading is the seventh ContiLifeCycle plant to open in the U.S. in the past two years.
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