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Clark Tire buyouts boosts store count

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HICKORY, N.C.—Clark Tire & Auto Inc. expanded its reach in the past year to 24 retail stores throughout western North Carolina by acquiring six stores in new markets in Smokey Mountain communities, and CEO John Clark said the dealership plans to continue adding locations as opportunities arise.

Clark Tire bought three stores, in Asheville, Hendersonville and Arden, N.C., from Mountain View Tire & Service of Candler, N.C., late last year and a store in Forest City, N.C., from Cowan Tire & Auto Service along with vacant storefronts in Asheville and Waynesville, N.C.

The dealership, which marked its 70th year in business in 2013, did not disclose financial details of the acquisitions. Clark Tire has since renovated and rebadged all of the new stores, which are all west of Clark Tire's previous marketing area.

In addition to the 24 retail stores, Clark Tire operates two commercial outlets—including one with a retread plant—and three wholesale locations. Several of Clark Tire's retail locations are former Goodyear company stores.

Retail generates about 40 percent of sales revenue, 20 percent comes from commercial operations and 40 percent from wholesale, the dealership said.

Sales have increased over the past year, Mr. Clark said, without providing details, and the dealership has been servicing more hybrid and electric vehicles.

Founded in 1943 by John A. Clark, father of current owner John D. Clark, the Hickory-based dealership is part of the Goodyear Tire & Service Network, Mo-torist Assurance Program and Be Car Care Aware program.

Predominantly a Good-year dealer, Clark Tire also stocks and sells BFGood-rich, Dunlop, Hankook, Kelly, Michelin and Uniroyal tires, according to its website.

Mountain View Tire was founded in May 2001 by former Goodyear sales executive Brian Forrest, who took over nine former Brad Ragan/Carolina Tire stores when Goodyear began dissolving that former subsidiary.

Mountain View Tire, now owned by Paul Anderson, still operates one store in Candler. Mr. Anderson did not reply to queries for comment about the reasons for selling the stores.

Cowan Tire consolidated its operations at a new store it opened in Rutherfordton, N.C., in December 2013, according to its website and Facebook page.
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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% (34 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.
19% (14 votes)
Total votes: 75
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