Commercial Business

Pent-up demand spurs commercial sales

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Pent-up demand spurs commercial sales

History repeats itself in 2012. For the second year in a row, Southern Tire Mart, based in Columbia, Miss., tops the Modern Tire Dealer 2012 Top 25 U.S. Commercial Tire Dealers list.

Coming in again at number-two is Best-One Tire & Service, Monroe, Ind. Best-One shares the number-two spot with Pomp’s Tire Service, Green Bay, Wis., up two places from the number-four spot it held on the lists from 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Greensboro, N.C.-based Snider Tire Inc. moved up to number four. Snider Tire’s president John Snider is MTD’s 2010 Dealer of the Year.

The commercial tire industry is making a post-recession comeback. Despite a slow recovery, commercial tire dealers have held their own.

In 2009 we reported that many commercial tire dealers had to put expansion plans on hold. That hasn’t been the case in 2012. And there’s reason to believe that it will continue into 2013.

According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), original equipment (OE) tire shipments for both the commercial truck and light vehicle markets will be up nearly 16% for 2012 as continued pent-up demand for both commercial trucks and light vehicles will add to domestic new vehicle sales and production.

The RMA also says that pent-up demand for commercial trucks and trailers concurrent with a forecasted 4% increase in the Industrial Production Index in 2012 will enable this sector to grow by 12% in 2012, or nearly 600,000 units, or 5.5 million units total.

With optimism in the commercial tire market, dealers large and small are managing to stay in business and grow. And while the big players have stayed at the top of the MTD Top 25 U.S. Commercial Tire Dealers list, there has been plenty of action with other dealers. We asked: What has happened at your business in the last year?

•  Raben Tire Co. Inc. (number 13): “Retread casing availability is a real problem.”

•  Pete’s Tire Barns Inc. (number 22): “We purchased Quirk Tire and that was our big acquisition of the year. That was so we could focus more on OTR – that’s our plan. The combination of Pete’s Tire Barns and Quirk Tire will allow Pete’s to expand sales and service of giant tires, farm tires, industrial and truck tire markets within New England.”

•  Nebraskaland/Kansasland/Coloradoland Tire Group (number 25): “We have 19 combo locations as we have added commercial service to our North Broadway location in Denver. We have added three retail locations in Topeka by purchasing Gregg Tire. We are in negotiations for a new location in Denver now.”

•  Bauer Built Inc. (number 10): “In the last year we have acquired Walker Tire Commercial Division in Omaha, Neb. and Hanson Tire in LeRoy and Preston, Minn.”

•  Pomp’s Tire Service (tied for number 2): “Overall 2011 was an excellent year. This year we are selling more in dollars but less in new units while having a nice increase in our retread sales.”

•  Service Tire Truck Centers (number 6): “Our business has been steady in 2012, but not gangbusters. Sales are up a little, and GP is better than 2011. We look to finish up over last year, and are optimistic for 2013.”

•  Valley Tire Co. Inc. (number 21): “Valley Tire has expanded into the heavy-duty truck repair business using the name TruxTex, now with five locations and seven mobile units.”    ■

See MTD's Top 25 Commercial Tire Dealer chart by clicking here.

To make the MTD Top 25 U.S. Commercial Tire Dealers list, a commercial tire dealer has to: 1) sell truck tires, 2) have at least one retreading plant, and 3) offer 24/7 road service. Point totals are tabulated based on number of outlets. Each commercial-only outlet is two points and each retread plant is one point. The number of combination commercial/retail stores is multiplied by the estimated percentage of commercial sales, and then multiplied by two. The highest 25 point totals make up the list, and then the dealers are ranked based on estimated commercial sales.

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