WATERTOWN, Mass. — When Barry Steinberg, founder and CEO of Direct Tire & Auto Service, died April 27 of prostate cancer, he had already worked for several years on a succession plan for his dealership's three stores in the Boston market.
His long-time general manager, Bob Lane, has purchased the dealership's flagship location in Watertown; and Sullivan Tire and Auto Service will be acquiring the Direct Tire locations in Medway and Peabody on May 4. A fourth location, in Norwood, will close later this month.
Mr. Lane said he has worked at Direct Tire for 25 years and over the past three years had been working closely with Mr. Steinberg on a succession plan.
He told Tire Business that there will be no changes to the operations of Direct Tire, which specializes in servicing high-end and Euro vehicles, as well as more popular cars and light trucks.
Longtime employees Doug Smith and Clark Goodpaster have been retained at the Watertown location to help with a smooth transition, he said. All warranties and prepaid packages will be honored and customers will see many of the same employees at the shop.
Meanwhile, Norwell, Mass.-based Sullivan Tire's acquisition of two Direct Tire locations will increase its store count to 75 throughout New England.