Despite a particularly devastating recession that has forced many commercial tire dealerships to put their expansion plans on hold, Snider Tire Inc. is pressing forward. The Greensboro, N.C.-based company recently made a substantial investment by replacing its existing retread shop in Houston, Texas, with a new, 100,000-square-foot Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. (MTRI) plant.
The plant will supply product to four Snider Tire commercial tire locations in the Lone Star State: Houston, Dallas, Conroe and Beaumont. (Snider Tire is the fifth largest independent commercial tire dealership in the U.S., according to this year’s MTD Top 25 Commercial Tire Dealers List, which begins on page 45.)
“We have seen an increase in demand from trucking fleets for emergency roadside service and MRTI products,” says John Snider, the dealership’s president.
“This new facility will ensure that we can meet the demand with additional production, as well as timely retread delivery.”
The new plant is within 240 miles of Snider Tire’s most far-flung Texas commercial tire center, which will reduce delivery time substantially, according to MRTI officials.
Already in the plan
Snider Tire set up its original Houtson retread plant in 1988, on the south side of the city. “We have a good-size business in Texas,” says Snider. “We service a number of fleet customers that we service in other parts of the country,” including national accounts. (Snider Tire has locations in eight states.) “We also are involved in the local commercial business.”
A long-time Bandag retreader, Snider Tire converted to MRTI this past May, but the new plant was already underway well before the switch.
A new plant in Houston “was in our plan regardless of whether or not we changed to Michelin.”
The dealership also sells Michelin, Continental, General, Goodyear, Kelly, and Yokohama brand truck tires.
The facility is on the north side of Houston, putting it in closer proximity to Dallas. “From that perspective, we have gained efficiencies,” says Snider.
Under Bandag, Snider Tire had eight retread plants. The company has since consolidated into four plants. “We didn’t add the new plant because we thought the current economic environment is a great environment in which to do business.
“We did it because it’s the right thing to do for the next 20 years.”
[PAGEBREAK]When asked if Snider Tire has slated more locations for Texas, Snider says “we always have plans to add locations in any state we do business in. We just have to make sure the timing is right.”
News from other top dealerships
Other dealerships on Modern Tire Dealer’s Top 25 Commercial Tire Dealers List have made major investments over the last 12 months.
Best-One Tire & Service purchased and/or opened five new commercial tire locations. Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. bought Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s OTR retread operations, which included two plants, one in Minnesota and another in North Carolina. The plants have since been shut down.
Their capacities are being transferred to Purcell’s main plant in Potosi, Mo.
Bethlehem, Pa.-based Service Tire Truck Centers opened a new, 85,000-square-foot retread plant/commercial tire center in York, Pa., to better serve its customers.
The Top 25 Commercial Tire Dealers List ranks dealerships according to point totals achieved, according to Commercial Tire Dealer’s proprietary formula. Each commercial-only outlet gets two points and each retread plant earns one point. We then multiply each dealership’s number of combined outlets by the estimated percentage of commercial tire sales at those locations, and we multiply that number by two. All calculations are then added to come up with a grand total. See the next two pages for this year’s Top 25 Commercial Tire Dealers. ■
See the Top 25 Commercial Dealers chart in the Industry Resources pages of this Web site -- http://www.moderntiredealer.com/Stats/Viewer.aspx?file=http%3a%2f%2fwww.moderntiredealer.com%2ffiles%2fstats%2fTOP-25.pdf.