The Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly brands will no longer be distributed by American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD). Stuart Schuette, CEO and president of ATD, has informed the company's retail customers that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has dropped the largest tire wholesaler in the U.S. as a distributor.
The announcement comes on the heels of the creation of TireHub by Goodyear and Bridgestone Americas Inc. If it passes governmental scrutiny, TireHub will become the third largest wholesale tire distributor in the U.S., behind ATD and NTW, the joint venture formed by Michelin North America Inc. and Sumitomo Corp. of Americas earlier this year.
Schuette announced the news in a letter sent to ATD customers late last week.
"We have been notified that we will no longer be a Goodyear distributor going forward, although a specific timetable to eliminate access has not been established," he wrote. "Unfortunately, Goodyear has chosen to force this transition upon all of us, but we’ll work closely with you to manage the impacts.
"Inevitably, this all comes down to choices made in times of change. Goodyear is choosing to limit how its customers can purchase and obtain its products. We are disappointed by Goodyear’s choice, given the investment ATD has made in building the Goodyear family of brands, and supporting its products, over the last decade and the effect it will have on all of you."
Schuette outlines ATD's strategy going forward in the rest of the letter.
"ATD is making choices too. We’re choosing to keep the power of choice alive for our customers -- many of whom are independent dealers. Most importantly, we are choosing to keep our commitment to providing the best service and selection for customers. Through the decades, that commitment has proven to us that an investment in our customer’s business brings success in equal measure for all of us.
"There is a solid strategy underway that is built around you. We have innovative initiatives to be unveiled later this year that will demonstrate how we are leading change in our industry -- all of which is motivated by a desire to drive value for your business and help you succeed regardless of the market climate.
"ATD has the backing of an experienced leadership team and committed stakeholders -- they are totally united in our strategy and growth plan," wrote Schuette. "We are unique in this industry, as we can offer an incredibly diverse product offering supported by a world-class supply chain. We continue to have great relationships with our ongoing vendors and manufacturing partners, both in North America and globally.
"While the new landscape may present you with fewer choices, we look forward to working closely with you to lessen the impact of the challenges you face. ATD is financially solid and we are both clear and confident in the focus of our business and the innovative strategy we have in process."
ATD also offers the Bridgestone, Firestone and Fuzion brands, as well as Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal.
For more information on TireHub, check out these links: