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Goodyear announces agreement with Pilot Truck Care Centers

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems LLC subsidiary has signed an agreement to assume operation of eight Pilot Truck Care Centers in five states.

Pilot and Wingfoot hope to expand by the end of 2005. The company further "expects to fill in with service locations as Pilot continues its rapid growth plans," says Steve McClellan, vice president of Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems.

Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems LLC has 171 commercial tire sales, service and retread facilities nationwide. Though operated by Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems LLC, the Truck Care Centers will retain the Pilot name upon initiation.

The Goodyear-operated Pilot truck centers will provide trucking fleets with new tires, retreads, limited mechanical service, preventive maintenance, and roadside assistance combined with an "on-highway" presence that fleets are demanding, the company says.

McClellan says the agreement is "significant for both Goodyear and Pilot. Goodyear greatly expands its truck service network, and Pilot instantly becomes a one-stop shopping experience for drivers of commercial trucks."

Pilot Travel Centers, the nation's largest retail operator of travel centers catering to the professional driver and traveling motorist, operates 271 travel centers in 40 states and licenses 13 locations throughout Kansas, Montana, Iowa and Nebraska.

"Pilot Truck Care Centers support our truck tire customers and their request for an on-highway presence," says McClellan. "Because we maintain a large strategic national account base, it was important to bring our cradle-to-grave services closer to where they’re needed. This move is customer driven, a one-stop shop for fuel, food, showers, and now tires, service and preventive maintenance."

Pilot Travel Centers is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., and employs 13,000. The travel centers are owned by Pilot Corp., based in Knoxville, and Marathon Ashland Petroleum, of Findlay, Ohio.

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