With the purchase of a five-store business in Kansas City, Mo., Telle Tire & Auto Centers Inc. has entered a new market and completed its biggest acquisition yet.
On March 1 Telle Tire acquired KC Complete Auto Service, a five-store operation focused on automotive repairs. The company opened its first store in December 2004 and added four more locations, all on the Missouri side of the Kansas City metro area.
Aaron Telle, CEO and president of Telle Tire, says the KC Complete Auto Service stores will continue to operate under their existing banner "and build on the strong brand that has been created in the market." He says the Kansas City stores will also expand beyond automotive service to offer tires. "All the equipment is in place and we are rolling it out right away," he says.
"The KC market was identified as being extremely fragmented. The opportunity to purchase such a strong brand in reputation will provide Telle Tire the foundation needed to continue to rapidly grow in the KC market," Telle says.
The two companies share common values, Telle says, including long-term customer focus, employee engagement and vendor relationships. All of those things result "in a strongly built team and organization," Telle says.
A key company associate, Marco Gonzalez, started working at KC Complete Auto Service when he was 18 years old, and worked his way up to director of operations. With the acquisition, he has been promoted to president of the Kansas City region and will run all operations there. Gonzalez will report to Telle.
The acquistion gives Telle Tire 15 locations, and every new storefront is the work of Telle, a fourth-generation tire dealer. His family started the St. Louis-based tire business in 1942, and it continued as a single-store operation for 69 years. Telle has his eye on more growth, and says the company will expand its presence in its hometown of St. Louis in 2020.
In 2016 Telle was a member of Modern Tire Dealer's inaugural class of On the Rise, a program designed to highlight the good work of young leaders under 40. MTD is recruiting members for On the Rise 2020 now.