There probably will be a domino effect from American Tire Distributors Inc.’s purchase of Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. How many dominoes is anyone’s guess.

You never know what will happen when one company purchases another. Will all Hercules dealers remain so? Will the company keep all 21 TDW (Tire Dealer’s Warehouse) outlets or consolidate some of them into its own network? (TDW was a division of Hercules.)

One dealer at the 2014 Tire Pros National Dealer Conference, held recently in Las Vegas, told me he hoped the Hercules brand would be offered exclusively through Tire Pros franchisees.

I don’t have a lot of answers to any questions at this point, but I can offer up some clarification from Ron Sinclair, senior vice president of marketing at American Tire Distributors (ATD).

“Our approach is business as usual,” he says. “Currently, the Hercules and Ironman brands are available through the legacy TDW centers only. While we expect to expand our distribution on those brands over time, our first and most important objective is to continue to service the existing customers that have been purchasing the Hercules and Ironman brands up to this point in time.”

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., which produces some of the Hercules branded product, continues to do so, he says.

What about the Capitol brand? ATD is adding more than 850 SKUs with the Hercules and Ironman brands in the following segments: passenger (including winter), light truck, medium truck, OTR, agricultural and industrial. That compares to 100 or so for Capitol. Sinclair says the company plans to market the Capitol brand as well.

Finally, what about ATD’s association with Nexen Tire America Inc.? The Nexen Nblue Eco AH01 and the Nexen NFera SU4 tires were being distributed exclusively through TDW's 15 warehouse locations and through Hercules Tire's network of independent wholesalers.

“Nexen is a key vendor for ATD,” says Sinclair. “We continue to sell the two proprietary Nexen lines through the TDW D/Cs, and will evaluate, in conjunction with Nexen, how those two lines fit in the ATD product screen going forward.”

To date, the parties have yet to hold those discussions. John Aben, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nexen, adds no changes have been made at this time.

Author

Bob Ulrich
Bob Ulrich

Editor, Retired

Editor Bob Ulrich has earned a reputation as an industry expert thanks to his insightful, in-depth articles and blogs on the tire industry. Before joining Modern Tire Dealer in 1985, Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University. Also, he graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a J.D.

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Editor Bob Ulrich has earned a reputation as an industry expert thanks to his insightful, in-depth articles and blogs on the tire industry. Before joining Modern Tire Dealer in 1985, Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University. Also, he graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a J.D.

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