WILMINGTON, Del. — The growth of a AAA-badged tire retail and auto service network skewed upward rapidly in the past year, as AAA Allied Group — which also operates the AAA/Bob Sumerel Tire network in Ohio — took over responsibility for 40 AAA Tire & Service locations along the Eastern Seaboard.
The growth will continue into 2019 as an enlarged AAA Allied Group Inc. — the Cincinnati-based group that took over the Bob Sumerel retail store network in 2009 — moves to open AAA Tire & Automotive stores in Connecticut and Oklahoma.
More recently, the group acquired Smitty's Automotive & RV Repair in Toledo, Ohio, and is converting Smitty's two locations to the AAA Tire & Auto name. The conversion should be completed in early 2019, doubling the number of AAA Tire stores in northwest Ohio.
The impetus for the rapid growth was the merger in 2016 of AAA Allied Group and AAA Mid-Atlantic Inc., to form the legally incorporated AAA Club Alliance Inc. — the third largest AAA motor club in the U.S. — headquartered in Wilmington.
That merger opened the door to aligning under one roof 78 retail tire and auto service centers in 10 states, most doing business as AAA Car Care, Insurance and Travel Centers.
The upshot is that Craig Sumerel, president of Cincinnati-based AAA Tire & Auto Service, now oversees a business twice the size of the one he led just a year ago, with stores stretching from New Jersey to Oklahoma.