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Heartland Tire buys five stores in Minnesota

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BRAINERD, Minn.—Heartland Tire Service has doubled the size of its store network in Minnesota to 11 locations via two acquisitions in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area—Galaxy Auto Centers, with three stores, and two Goodyear Tire & Service stores operated by Paramount Auto Service of Hastings, Minn.

“Heartland Tire has developed a reputation across Minnesota of delivering top quality service and repair,” said Adam Kay, corporate operations manager, “and we're excited to have this opportunity to deliver that same quality of service to the Twin Cities area.

“It's our hope that these acquisitions serve as a catalyst for future growth across the state of Minnesota, and potentially other regions as well,” he added. Financial terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

Heartland Tire, under the ownership/direction of Dave Mitchell since December 2012, anticipates growing further, Mr. Kay said, looking at both greenfield site development and acquisition opportunities. In terms of acquisitions, Mr. Kay said Heartland's management team is open to discussions with dealers looking to retire or exit the business. The Galaxy Auto Centers stores are in Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights and Spring Lake Park, Minn., while the Paramount Auto Service stores are in Ramsey and Champlin, Minn.

Paramount Auto continues to operate Goodyear-affiliated tire stores in Hastings, Rosemount and Woodbury, Minn., along with an auto repair facility in Woodbury. Heartland purchased Galaxy Tire from Donald Logelin, who bought the then-10-year-old business in 1983 and had operated it since. He expanded Galaxy to three stores in 1989, according to the firm's online history.

Mr. Logelin, who has now retired, according to Mr. Kay, could not be reached for comment. The five new stores—as well as a store that Heartland opened earlier this year in New Ulm, Minn., in a vacated auto service location—are part of the Goodyear Tire & Service Network, Heartland Tire said, and as such will focus primarily on auto repair and tire sales and service. Heartland Tire took on 35 new employees with the five acquired stores, Mr. Kay said.

Heartland Tire's headquarters store in Brainerd, along with locations in Little Falls, St. Cloud, Wadena and New Ulm, Minn., will continue to service commercial trucks, off-the-road vehicles and farm equipment. Heartland also has a dedicated commercial tire location in Brainerd, with a Good-year-system retread plant on the premises.

Family-owned and -operated Heartland Tire has been providing auto and truck repair, tire sales and service, tire retreading, and off-the-road and farm equipment repair to the central Minnesota area for more than 30 years.

The dealership's executive team includes Mr. Mitchell, president; Beau Mitchell, general manager; Shannon Bergman, vice president, OTR and commercial; Joe Cramer, vice president, logistics; Teri Kurth, controller; and Mr. Kay. Galaxy Auto Centers was founded in 1973 with stores in Columbia Heights and Brooklyn Park. Paramount Auto did not return calls seeking additional information on its decision to sell the two Good-year locations.

It is part of Linn Companies, a family-owned diversified business with activities in gasoline/convenience stores, auto parts, tires/auto repair, laundromats and commercial real estate. Mr. Mitchell also owns and operates Taconite Tire, a predominantly Good-year commercial dealership in Virginia, Minn.

He acquired Heartland Tire from Jerry and May Lee Lane.

To reach this reporter: bdavis@ crain.com; 330-865-6145. Twitter: @reifenmensch

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TB Reader Poll

Previous | Published March 18, 2019

Where can you expect to see the most growth in 2019?

Tire sales
45% (33 votes)
General automotive service
15% (11 votes)
Brakes, shocks and other undercar services
7% (5 votes)
Add-on business
15% (11 votes)
Anywhere we can get it.
18% (13 votes)
Total votes: 73
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