Retail

ITDG continues growth, expects to reach 100 shareholders this year

Greg Smith
Posted on July 7, 2015
Mike Cox, CEO and president of ITDG, introduced the panel of tire company execs. They are (from left to right): Matt Burrows, Yokohama; John Thomas, Nexen; Wayne Jung, Hankook; Gianluca Grioni, Pirelli; Kirk Papazian, Kumho; and Armand Allaire, Giti Tire.

Mike Cox, CEO and president of ITDG, introduced the panel of tire company execs. They are (from left to right): Matt Burrows, Yokohama; John Thomas, Nexen; Wayne Jung, Hankook; Gianluca Grioni, Pirelli; Kirk Papazian, Kumho; and Armand Allaire, Giti Tire.

The Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC (ITDG) now has a presence in 41 states, with over 550 retail locations and 144 members and 97 shareholders participating. Calling itself the “Band of Brothers,” the ITDG has become a leading “affinity group” in the industry.

Michael Cox, CEO and president, spoke to the group and its key vendors during its annual meeting last month in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “We only had a presence in four states in 2003 with half the number of shareholders that we have today.

“Our goals for 2015 are to have 100-plus shareholders and eclipse $200 million in purchases,” Cox said. The group had a 4.35% return to shareholders in 2014, a number that Cox said was very strong.

MTD Publisher Greg Smith gave a state-of-the-industry address to ITDG members and suppliers during the general session as well as moderated a panel of tire industry executives.
MTD Publisher Greg Smith gave a state-of-the-industry address to ITDG members and suppliers during the general session as well as moderated a panel of tire industry executives.

Cox and Ed Long, executive vice president of sales and marketing, told MTD that they are continuing their efforts to increase the group’s footprint, “but we want to be selective in how we grow the group. We will not infringe on our existing shareholders’ market areas and we want to make sure any new member shares our visions and values.”

“Our group offers tire dealers the ability to be part of a larger entity that puts them on a level playing field with the larger retailers and big box dealers, not to mention new car dealers. In the marketplace of today and tomorrow, independent dealers need buying and negotiating power, and that’s what we deliver,” said Long.

The ITDG currently has buying arrangements with 13 tire suppliers as well as vendors for wheels, lubricants, automotive parts and shop equipment. The captive insurance program that offers workers’ compensation coverage for members continues to attract new signees.     ■

Related Topics: Ed Long, Greg Smith, Independent Tire Dealers Group, ITDG, Michael Cox

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