MEDLEY, Fla.—Tire wholesaler Deal Tire & Wheel has changed its name to Advance Tire Wholesale in an effort to improve the firm's visibility among potential customers and also opened a second Florida warehouse, in Boynton Beach, to serve customers in the West Palm Beach area.
The company, in business since 2004, also has secured the international marketing rights for the Summit brand and has established some promising distribution deals in Latin America for the brand, according to Patrick Assali, co-owner.
In Boynton Beach, Advance has leased 20,000-plus square feet of warehouse space to help it serve a growing customer base in the West Palm area more effectively, he said. The warehouse is starting out with four delivery trucks and two trucks dedicated to roadside assistance for commercial vehicles.
“We've secured a fair amount of business in the West Palm area of late,” Mr. Assali said, “but we discovered we were having a hard time making deliveries on a timely basis. This (new warehouse) will help alleviate that.”
Consolidation among other wholesalers in the area created opportunities for this move, he added, and could open up opportunities for additional expansion.
Advance Wholesale's key brand accounts are Nexen, Pirelli and Yokohama commercial tires, with Nankang and Milestar in the mix as well. Mr. Assali said he recently started handling the Achilles brand, which is generating interest among his customers.
As for the Summit brand, he said Advance Wholesale has secured a deal with Colombia's Grupo Exito to sell that brand in Colombia through Exito's chain of grocery/hard goods stores. Exito has 427 retail stores in Colombia, according to the firm's website.
Mr. Assali said there's an opportunity to supply the group's retail stores in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, as well. The Summit program Advance Wholesale is involved in covers a range of sizes and tread patterns appropriate for those regions, he added.
Advance Wholesale, together with Summit brand owner Sure Tire, contracts production of the brand in China—Qingdao Doublestar Tire, primarily—with Advance predominantly covering the smaller, more entry-level SKUs.
Mr. Assali said Advance Wholesale, after reviewing the types and styles of the entry-level Summit SKUs, determined there was still a market for them in the U.S., so he approached Sure Tire—owner of the Summit name—about offering them to Sure's U.S. customer base.
The program gained a number of converts, Mr. Assali said, but the U.S. Department of Commerce's favorable ruling in July on the United Steelworkers union's latest petition for import tariffs and/or duties on Chinese tires put that interest into hibernation.
Deal Tire began business in 2004 primarily as a tire export enterprise operating from a small Miami warehouse before shifting its focus to domestic distribution, covering South Florida, including Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, and the West Coast markets in Collier and Lee counties, from its 120,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Miami.