Collectively, TBC claims this equates to nearly 10 percent of all aftermarket tires sold in North America.
In the past year, TBC also divested the SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service franchise business it bought in 2012 to Greenwood, Colo.-based Grease Monkey International L.L.C.
That deal, concluded in February, provides Grease Monkey with more than 100 franchised SpeeDee-branded shops across the U.S. to go with more than 220 centers it operates in the U.S.
TBC recently disclosed that Markus Hockenson, senior vice president, company store operations since May 2013, left the company this summer. He now is COO of Vision Group Holdings.
TBC named divisional vice presidents Christian Seem and Bill Shull to head up the retail group. Messrs. Seem and Shull both joined TBC in 2014 as divisional vice presidents in the Midwest/Northeast and Southeast regions, respectively.
No. 3 Monro's cache of acquisitions in the past year includes one company previously in the Tire Business Top 100 — NONA Inc., a Car-X Tire & Auto franchisee with 16 stores — along with half a dozen smaller acquisitions, including another Car-X franchisee with eight locations in the Chicago metro area.
Monro's net gain over the past year was 30 stores, boosting the Rochester, N.Y.-based company to 606 tire-centric retail stores to go with 525 Monro Muffler-badged auto service-centric locations.
Monro also controls the Car-X Tire & Auto franchise system, which has 105 franchised outlets in operation, predominantly throughout the upper Midwest/Great Lakes states, to go with the 38 outlets Monro controls directly.
Icahn Enterprises has built up the Pep Boys Service & Tire Centers network with a series of high-profile acquisitions:
- Advanced Auto Service & Tire Centers of Phoenix — 15 retail stores in the Phoenix metro area that it is converting to the Service & Tire Centers brand.
- Precision Auto Care Inc. — franchisor of the Precision Tune Auto Care automotive service business — roughly 250 Precision Tune stores in the U.S., including 43 locations owned by Precision Auto — and 65 more locations outside the U.S., including five in Mexico.
- Mathis Tire & Auto Service and Direct Tire Distributors in Memphis — a dozen retail outlets and a 6,000-unit warehouse. This deal gave Icahn Automotive its first retail presence in the Memphis, Tenn., area and the opportunity to expand its existing tire wholesale business.
- Just Brakes L.L.C. — an automotive repair and maintenance chain with 134 stores across the U.S. southern tier; the outlets are being converted to the Service & Tire Centers brand.
More recently, Icahn added franchising to its business model, buying American Driveline Systems (ADS) — franchisor of the AAMCO Total Car Care and Cottman Transmission & Total Auto Care businesses — in a deal that Icahn Enterprises Chairman Carl Icahn called the "next step in building out our national automotive service network."
ADS is the franchisor of approximately 630 AAMCO and 52 Cottman locations in the U.S. and Canada.
The addition of ADS expands Icahn Automotive's reach to 1,900 company-owned and franchised service locations in 49 states plus Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and several international locations.
"I believe that the automotive aftermarket service industry is undergoing secular change driven by increased vehicle complexity, advances in technology, as well as the growth of automotive fleets, including ride-sharing and car-sharing networks," Mr. Icahn said.
"These changes will continue to offer, in my opinion, extremely attractive and unique investment opportunities. With our presence throughout the automotive aftermarket value chain, Icahn Enterprises is positioned to capitalize on these trends."
No. 5 Les Schwab Tire Centers added nine stores in the past year and continues to scout locations both within its existing footprint and in new territories outside of its traditional West Coast/Rocky Mountains domain.
No. 6 Mavis Discount Tire and No. 7 Kal Tire stood pat at 341 and 206 locations, respectively, while No. 8 Express Oil Change/Tire Engineers added a net of 20 stores growing to 185 company-owned locations. The Birmingham, Ala.-based business also has 84 franchised locations.
New to the rankings this year is Max Auto Supply Co., a Midas Auto & Tire franchisee based in Toledo, Ohio, with 113 Midas locations throughout the Midwest and in Georgia. The company debuts at the 12th spot on the Tire Business Top 100.
Because of consolidation among dealerships ranked in the Top 100, the ranking includes dealerships with 11 stores. Some of these dealerships have been in the rankings before, others are first-timers.
A year ago the cutoff was 12.
Besides Advanced Auto Service, Mathis Tire and NONA, one other company ranked a year ago — Fletcher's Tire & Auto Service — is gone from the ranking.
Bridgestone Americas Inc. acquired the Phoenix-based company in early 2017 and converted 31 of the dealership's 35 outlets to Firestone Complete Auto Care centers and closed four outlets.
Owner Jerry Fletcher has not commented publicly on his reasons for selling the dealership, which first opened for business in 1970.
Some dealerships worth mentioning for their organic growth are:
Tire Discounters Inc. (No. 13), which hit the century mark last year in store count, continued to grow, adding five stores in the past year — including its first in Alabama and Georgia — to hit 106 locations.
Tire Discounters President Jamie Ward told Tire Business in July the Cincinnati-based dealership plans to double its store network in the coming five years to 200-plus stores, and intends to achieve that, in part, by acquiring small dealerships seeking to exit the business.
ATV Inc. (No. 14) opened 10 American Tire Depot stores in and around Los Angeles in the past year to expand to 99 locations. All are conversions of existing auto repair facilities, including six former NAPA AutoCare Centers — in Culver City, Hollywood, Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, Upland, Upton and West Covina, Calif.
The La Mirada, Calif.-based dealership said it has more openings planned for the coming months, but declined to be more specific.
4 Wheel Parts (No. 17), the retail arm of Transamerican Auto Parts Co. that debuted in 2016, continues to grow steadily, adding nine locations in the past year for 84 stores as it grows toward 100 outlets in the U.S. and Canada.
The Compton, Calif.-based manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing group, part of Polaris Industries Inc., is focused on the off-road sector.
Kauffman Tire Inc. (No. 19) opened seven greenfield stores in the past year in Georgia and Florida, expanding to 66 locations.
Plaza Tire Service (No. 20) opened four stores — including a pair in Springfield in southwest Missouri — to enlarge the Cape Girardeau, Mo.-based dealership's reach to 62 locations.
Black's Tire Service Inc. (No. 25) took over six Perry Brothers Tire Service Inc. stores in North Carolina, extending the Black's Tire network to 45 retail stores in North and South Carolina.
Pomp's Tire Service Inc. (No. 27) acquired Cross-Midwest Tire Co., a Kansas City, Kan.-based dealership with a dozen commercial locations throughout Illinois, Kansas and Missouri, some of which offer retail services as well. The stores will continue to operate under the Cross-Midwest name. Pomp's operates 41 retail locations.
MFA Oil Co. (No. 65) added four Big O Tires outlets to grow to 18 locations, with plans to add up to eight more stores in Arkansas and Oklahoma in the coming years.
The Top 100 includes 16 businesses, with 448 outlets collectively, that are franchisees: six that fly the Big O Tires flag, two that are Car-X Tire affiliates, four that belong to the RNR Tire rent-to-own network, and three that are aligned with Midas (including one, Leeds West Group, that operates both Big O and Midas outlets).
By franchise identity, the dealership groups are:
- Big O — Leeds West Group, 56 locations (some are Midas); Golden West Tire Centers, 22 locations; MFA Oil Co., 18 outlets; Big O Tires/California, 17 locations; Koldenhoven Enterprises, 14 stores; Big O Tires/Arizona, 12 stores; and Western Automotive Group, 12 stores.
- Car-X Tire — Brex Inc. and Gorrepati Enterprises Inc., 21 locations each.
- Midas — Max Auto, 113 stores; Auto Systems Experts Inc., 42 locations; and Leeds West Group.
- RNR — Rental Concepts L.L.C., 21 locations; SPF Mgt. Co. L.L.C./RNR Tire Express, 15 locations; RIMS USA L.L.C., 16 locations; and Gulf Coast L&P, 12 locations.
In addition, MFA Oil — Big O Tire's primary franchisee in Missouri — operates nine Jiffy Lube stores in addition to its 18 Big O stores in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.