FRENCH LICK, Ind. — For much of its 75 years in business, Best-One Tire Group/Zurcher Tire has been a bit of an anomaly among its peers — the Zurcher family, starting with founder Paul Zurcher, has held an ownership stake in every dealership allied under the Best-One banner.
That practice has served the family-owned and -run company well over the years, as it methodically built up a network of businesses in the retail, commercial and wholesale sectors of the U.S. replacement tire industry, to the point where the Best-One brand is active in two dozen Midwestern states serving customers in those states and dozens more bordering them.
That slow, methodical approach took a decidedly upward turn earlier this year when Monroe, Ind.-based Best-One struck deals to bring aboard a pair of heavyweights on their own accord: McGriff Industries in Alabama and Callaghan Tire in Florida.
Those two deals added 28 points-of-sale and four retread plants to Best-One's already extensive portfolio of assets and brought the brand its first true exposure in the U.S. Southeast.
All told, the Best-One brand is now active in 37 states, with 321 physical locations in 28 states. Collectively the dealerships under the Best-One banner generate over $3 billion in annual revenue and employ over 5,600 salaried and hourly workers.
Those numbers solidify Best-One among the top echelon of independent dealerships in the U.S., whether it's retail, commercial, retreading or wholesale.
So do the deals with Callaghan and McGriff signal a change in Best-One's corporate business strategy?
"Not necessarily," Jon Zurcher, chief operating officer and grandson of founder Paul Zurcher, said, stressing that the deals that brought Callaghan and McGriff into the Best-One family were opportunities that couldn't be overlooked.
"We want to continue to grow where it makes sense," Zurcher said in an interview with Tire Business prior to the company's 75th anniversary celebrations. "In a lot of ways, we've flown under the radar up to this point.
"Bottom line: Best-One's goal is to be the leading and most trusted provider of tires and services in all of our geographic markets," Zurcher added. "There was no question (Callaghan and McGriff) were respected in their respective markets."
In both cases, Jon and sister Lindsey Beer — chief strategy officer — stressed that similar family cultures played a major role in closing the deals.
"Opportunity and a good fit," Beer said of the two deals this summer. "Culture, family and values — if we can check these boxes, then we're on track for a good partnership."