There were smiles all around as the Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC (ITDG) celebrated its 20th anniversary in Cancun, Mexico, last weekend.
The group that calls itself “The band of brothers” has been on a fast track of growth since its inception.
ITDG was founded by a handful of Southern California tire dealers in 1994 with an idea to combine purchases for greater buying power. The group now has a presence in 34 states with more than 500 locations. It is targeting $200 million in purchases for 2014.
During the celebration, some of the founding members joked they would have been happy with $5 million in purchases, but now are confident that the group will continue to grow.
Michael Cox, CEO and president of ITDG, was hired to run the group 11 years ago, and the increases in buying programs have grown tremendously since that time. ITDG has buying arrangements with 13 different tire suppliers as well as sources for wheels, lubricants, automotive parts and shop equipment.
A major addition to the ITDG program was the 2004 launch of a captive insurance company that offers workers' compensation coverage for members. This program was followed by the launch in 2008 of a leasing company to offer members flexible equipment financing.
In 2011, ITDG signed a partnership with point S, a leading European group of independent tire and auto service dealers with 3,000 points of sale. The two groups continue to explore areas of mutual benefit.
"We have become the pre-eminent buying group in the country,” says Chris Wyborny, chairman of ITDG and vice president of Ramona Tire & Service Centers based in Hemet, Calif. He believes the growth over the next few years is limitless due to the flexibility that the group’s programs provide its members.
During the last eight years, the group has had an average shareholder return of 4.31%.
ITDG set records for new members, shareholders, member purchases and volume bonus and dividend payments in 2013.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.