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ATD, Partner to Create New

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"I want our partners - whether they be a supplier/manufacturer or a network partner - to look upon as a part of their strategy," says Michael Welch, president and CEO of the new


There’s a new and it’s “an equity partnership between American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD) and," says Michael Welch, the new entity’s president and CEO.

“What was before, as a brand and entity, was effectively a division of ATD,” Welch recently told MTD. “It’s now an independent business. 

“We’ve merged the assets of the two businesses into a new entity” that Welch says will combine the strengths and capabilities of both, the company he founded in 2018, and’s existing platform.

The new “will build a best-in-class approach to addressing the market shift for digital and service-focused business models that are evolving quickly across all sectors,” according to company officials.

“ATD has been on a journey of transformation to bring digital, data and technology solutions on behalf of the industry that help our customers and vendors not only compete but plan for the future of service, the solutions consumers will seek and the ease required to provide it,” says Stuart Schuette, president and CEO of ATD.

“In our position as a connector of the automotive aftermarket, we have the unique ability to support the creation of value for the industry. Michael will be instrumental in creating a best-in-class ecommerce platform and the future of online tire buying.”

Quick evolution

“The market has been moving fairly quickly” toward e-commerce, “in particular over the last 5 years,” Welch told MTD.

And customers’ service expectations are evolving, he added. They are “looking for more integrated solutions - from scheduling to availability to concierge and last-mile. How can we put all of those pieces together and be the go-to for what we see as the emerging customer in our space? 

“I have 25 years in online tires. To bring that together with the platform we have within - with its incumbent customer base and sales volume - we see an opportunity to (create) an improved offering almost immediately. 

“We’ll focus on our customer service. We’ll focus on our last-mile. We’ll look at how we can build value that way. The business of tomorrow is not going to be about commoditizing any aspect of the supply chain. 

“We’re going to be looking at how we can (bring) value to our partners and how we can work closely with our network to realize the value they have in their capacity and their labor and reflect that back to our customers - and with our manufacturers, how we can integrate more closely to their strategies and build access to the customers they want to talk to. 

“We will be very much focused on how we create solutions for our customers," said Welch.  "And we’re going to work with (our) partners in a much more open way. I think certainly in the next three months, you’re going to see some changes. We’re going to make some positive announcements and over the course of the year, we’ll be excited to deploy some new strategies as quickly as we can.”

Shared vision

When asked what attracted to ATD and its portal, Welch said that the former company “had a vision coming into the market a couple of years ago, looking forward to what the market could be. It’s a very big market. 

“Having conversations with ATD, it became obvious to me that some of the infrastructure and elevation they have in their organization is remarkable. When you look at what they do and how they do it, they are very different and very leading-edge. 

“You bring together the maturity of, the technology and strategy of and the attributes our partner obviously has, (we determined that) we could create something quite special."  has “an enormous network" of installers, encompassing more than 10,000 installation points, according to its site.

"I think the question we want to ask ourselves is, ‘Are we doing enough for our partners?’ We want to engage our network partners in a closer way to work with them to find ways in which we can build value for them. How can we leverage them as an asset and vice versa? 

“As opposed to being an absolute numbers game, to me, the most important thing is how we can do more for them,” Welch told MTD. “Can we go bigger and further? I want our partners - whether they be a supplier/manufacturer or a network partner - to look upon us as a part of their strategy.”

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