What spurred Michelin North America Inc. to buy 50% of TBC Corp. from Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA)? Michelin Chairman and President Scott Clark says the resulting joint venture “is about increasing our service capabilities and increasing our scale so that we can be a better supplier to both independent dealers and to provide secondary supply to our direct customers.”

By combining Michelin’s more than 85 Tire Centers LLC (TCi) distribution centers with TBC’s 59 Carroll Tire distribution centers, Michelin and SCOA created the second largest tire wholesaler in the U.S. in terms of market share behind American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD).

The new entity will be called National Tire Wholesale, or NTW. Erik Olsen, CEO and president of TBC Corp., says in addition to raising the company’s level of service to its new and existing customers, the new NTW “enables us to be a full-service provider to fleets across the United States” with the help of TBC’s portfolio of retail stores, franchisees and tire brands.

How much the joint venture will change the landscape of wholesale tire distribution is unclear. TCi was already a TBC Brands customer, and Carroll Tire sold Michelin’s three main consumer tire lines. ATD also sells Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal tires.

See the distribution charts here.

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