VERNON, British Columbia — Kal Tire has completed its acquisition from Bridgestone Canada Inc. of a range of GCR Tires & Service assets in eastern Canada, which will retain GCR branding under license from Bridgestone for a limited period of time.
Kal Tire and Bridgestone disclosed the deal — covering 15 GCR Tires & Service stores, two retread plants and one off-the-road (OTR) tire repair facility — in August 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal expands Kal Tire's footprint into eastern Canada, with locations in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Prior to this deal, Kal Tire's network of 250-plus retail and commercial stores were located predominantly in western Canada but stretching as far east as Ontario.
Cam Johnston, senior vice president, wholesale and supply, said Kal Tire is "very excited" to welcome new team members and locations to the company and about the prospect of servicing customers in all of its business segments across Canada.
GCR had 125 employees at the time the deal was announced; they were expected to join Kal Tire upon completion of the transaction.
Kal Tire did not disclose a timetable for renaming the locations, but said both Kal Tire and GCR Canada websites will be updated in the coming months to reflect the new locations.
The transaction continues a series of divestments by Bridgestone of GCR assets over the past few years. Bridgestone Americas will continue to operate 59 GCR stores and 13 GCR retread plants in the western U.S.
At its height, the GCR network comprised over 200 sales locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Bridgestone said GCR remains an integral part of its commercial distribution strategy in the U.S. and is committed to serving commercial customers in a best-in-class manner, while continuing to drive growth and support future mobility solutions.
The GCR name is derived from the names of the business' founders — Balie Griffith, Harold Crawford and Perry Rose — who opened their first location in 1945 in Odessa, Texas. Bridgestone bought the business in 1988.