AKRON — In a year influenced heavily by mergers and acquisitions, one could arguably say the biggest influence on the commercial tire sector last year was a company that technically doesn't exist any more.
For the first time in years, there was a noticeable shift among the top dealerships tracked by Tire Business for its annual rankings of North America's largest commercial dealerships and retreaders, thanks in large part to Michelin North America Inc.'s decision to phase out its TCi Tire Centers commercial business and divest nearly all of its holdings.
In a series of actions throughout the year, Michelin sold 51 TCi commercial sales/service locations, leaving it with just a handful of locations in California now operating under the Michelin Americas Truck Tires business.
Michelin's deals included:
Selling three TCi commercial service locations and an MRT retread plant in Colorado to Quality Tire Co. of Salt Lake City;
Selling 27 locations — including four retread plants — in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia, in July to Snider Fleet Solutions.
Selling 16 locations — including two retread plants — in Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas, in September to T&W Tire;
Selling four locations in Ohio — including one retread plant — in December to Shrader Tire & Oil and one location in Michigan, to Meekhof Tire Sales & Service Inc.
Michelin started paring down its TCi holdings in 2010, selling 16 outlets with one retread plant to Service Tire Truck Centers Inc. At that time, TCi operated 60 outlets and 10 retread plants in 15 states.