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MTD 100: Six Gone, a New 'Number One' and More

Five Observations Based On This Year's MTD 100

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Mavis Tire Express Services Corp.'s leap to the top of this year’s MTD 100 was mainly fueled through acquisitions.

| Photo Credit: Mavis

The July 2022 issue of MTD contains the MTD 100, our annual look at the 100 largest independent tire dealerships in the United States, based on store count. MTD has compiled and presented this list in one form or another since the 1980s. 

The MTD 100 is probably one of our most time-consuming and labor-intensive projects of the year, but it’s also one of the most important and rewarding services that we offer. 

Great care is taken to provide an accurate snapshot of the tire dealer landscape, which is always in a state of flux. 

As I researched this year’s MTD 100, I noticed several things that I want to share with you here. 

Number one, consolidation has taken a sizable chunk out of the MTD 100. No fewer than six large, independent tire dealerships have fallen off the list since last year. 

ATV Tire, which was the 13th largest independent tire dealership on last year’s MTD 100, sold its 107 retail stores to Percheron Capital/Big Brand Tire & Service Inc. last November. 

Plaza Tire Service Inc., which was number 18 on our 2021 list, was purchased by Sun Auto Tire & Service Inc. in December 2021. The deal included all of Plaza Tire’s 75 stores. 

Jack Williams Tire Co. Inc., the 29th biggest dealership on the 2021 MTD 100, sold its 39 retail stores and 11 distribution centers to Mavis Tire Express Services Corp. two months ago, thereby exiting the list. 

T.O. Haas Tire Co. Inc. sold its 25 retail stores that were located throughout Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa to Sun Auto Tire in December 2021. At this time last year, T.O. Haas was the 46th largest independent tire dealership in the U.S. 

The 48th largest independent tire dealership on the 2021 MTD 100, Action Gator Tire Stores, sold its retail locations to Mavis this past January. 

And Delta World Tire Co., last year’s number 64, sold its 17 locations to Sun Auto Tire in December 2021. 

Six longtime independents - all successful businesses and major players in their respective markets for many decades - now “gone” from the MTD 100. 

I predict we’ll see more MTD 100 members exit the business over the next 12 months. 

Another thing that struck me is the fact that - in terms of number of outlets, at least - Discount Tire Co. no longer holds the top spot on the MTD 100. That position is now held by Mavis. 

As of May 31, Discount Tire had 1,122 stores. We estimate that Mavis had 1,146 stores as of that date.

This time last year, Discount reported that it had 1,100 outlets and Mavis said it had 1,024 stores. 

In addition to its recent acquisition of Jack Williams Tire, Mavis picked up 165 Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Centers throughout 14 states last December. 

Mavis now has a presence in 35 states. Discount Tire operates in 37 states. 

Discount Tire’s growth primarily comes through greenfield construction. Mavis’ leap to the top of this year’s MTD 100 was mainly fueled through acquisitions. 

This brings me to my third observation - private equity will continue to play a big role in the make-up of the MTD 100.

Sun Auto Tire - which received a new majority owner, private equity group Leonard Green & Partners, last September - is expanding its footprint, moving into areas like the Midwest and East Coast. 

Percheron Capitol, the group behind Big Brand Tire & Service Inc., has made some big moves, too. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if more private equity firms “discover” tire dealerships - even if inflation remains high and interest rates continue to climb. This is a great business to be in and outsiders realize that. 

Now for my fourth observation, which is that traditional independent tire dealers aren’t sitting on the acquisition sidelines. They’re buying out other dealers, too. 

Business valuations remain high, credit is still plentiful and many tire dealers have hard-earned cash to invest. If you’re a tire dealer who’s looking for an off-ramp, this is probably a great time. If you’re a dealer who’s looking to expand your footprint and push into new areas, this also is probably a great time. 

For a detailed list of MTD 100 dealerships that have acquired the assets of other dealerships, check out the footnotes section on page 50 of the July issue of MTD

Independent tire dealers remain the dominant replacement tire sales channel in the U.S. market - eclipsing other channels by a large margin. That’s not just my fifth observation. It’s a fact. 

MTD’s readers, including you, continue to find ways to overcome whatever obstacles that are placed in front of them. They continue to innovate and grow. 

And despite continued uncertainty — including the looming threat of a recession - I don’t foresee this changing. (OK, so that’s six observations!)

The 2022 MTD 100 can be viewed here, starting on page 34.

Here are links to recently posted MTD 100 articles:

MTD 100 Provides Exclusive Look at Top Dealerships

MTD 100 Dealers Share Tips For Finding Good People

More MTD 100 Dealers Share Recruitment Strategies

More Recruitment Tips From MTD 100 Dealers

MTD 100: Market Forces Push Dealers Into Uncharted Waters

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