SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD) is expanding its wheel business beyond North America with the help of Hercules Tire International, which is the international division of ATD's Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. subsidiary.
The mega tire distributor, based in Huntersville, N.C., displayed its lineup of aftermarket wheels for the first time outside the U.S. at the inaugural TyreExpo 2015 held April 29-May 1 in San Jose.
This included the four wheel lines it owns exclusively — Cruiser Alloy, Pacer, Driftz and ICW Racing — and four others for which it has exclusive distribution rights — DropStars, TIS, Gear Alloy Wheels and the Motiv luxury line of wheels.
“ATD has always been able to sell internationally,” said Brian Moyer, ATD's sales director for wheels and wheel accessories, in an interview with Tire Business at Tyrexpo 2015. “But we just haven't had the contacts and relationships around the world.”
Now, thanks to associations through Hercules International, the company does have connections — and it aims to leverage that relationship.
“What that does for us is it opens up the proprietary brands and exclusive brands to take those into the foreign markets and establish dealers for those brands,” Mr. Moyer said.
ATD acquired Findlay, Ohio-based Hercules Tire in early 2014 for $311.5 million. The deal included four divisions: Hercules Tire USA; Hercules Tire Canada; Tire Dealer's Warehouse (TDW); and Hercules Tire International, which operates an office in Miami for its Latin America business, according to Mr. Moyer.
Mr. Moyer said he began working directly with Hercules International last November at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.
The next step was to exhibit the wheel lines at the Costa Rica tire show and tap into relationships Hercules International has with distributors in South and Central America. The plan is to work those relationships first, figure out the markets they are in and identify customers' wheel needs in those markets, Mr. Moyer said.
After that, ATD will match those needs with the wheel brands that will complement them.
“It's a pretty wide open market,” Mr. Moyer said of Central and South America. “For our brands, it's a completely untapped market.”
Mr. Moyer said customer response to ATD's wheel offerings at the Costa Rica show “has been really good. Everyone we've talked to on the tire side has had an interest in the wheel side and a number of those brands have committed,” he said.
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