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Quirk Tire acquires VIP Discount Auto Center

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Quirk Tire & Service Corp. of Westborough, Mass., has acquired Lewiston, Maine-based VIP Discount Auto Center for an undisclosed sum.

The deal adds 48 retail stores and two commercial centers to Quirk's original two-outlet line-up; prior to the buy-out, the 75-year-old dealership had one retail store and one commercial shop.

Projected post-merger revenues are expected to reach $95 million, according to Quirk Tire President John Quirk.

"The company will operate under the name of VIP Discount Auto Center," he says.

It will operate in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire with more than 1,000 employees.

Former VIP Discount Auto Center CEO and President Tom Auger Sr. and his family "will still have a minority interest (in the dealership)," Quirk says. Auger Sr., who launched VIP 43 years ago, will remain on staff on a part-time basis.

No new store openings are planned at the moment and "no wholesale changes with respect to vendors" are in the works, Quirk says.

VIP Discount Auto Center sells Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Ohtsu, Goodyear, Pirelli, Falken, Multi-Mile and General brand tires. It is the 18th largest independent tire retail dealership in North America with $78 million in annual sales, according to Modern Tire Dealer statistics.

"We'll focus on making VIP a first-class service company."

Quirk will begin construction on a new training facility within two weeks that will run the gamut from tire installation and auto service instruction to sales training.

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