Dealer Tire's Investment in SimpleTire Is Not That Simple

Bob Ulrich
Posted on May 17, 2018

Dealer Tire LLC continues to evolve as one of the largest tire wholesalers in the U.S. Its recent investment in Simple Tire LLC, dba SimpleTire.com, is one sign of that.

As Dealer Tire CEO Scott Mueller said when the partnership was announced, “We’ve built our business by consistently driving innovation in the tire distribution business and by providing automotive dealers with the tools and services they need to be successful selling tires. While our core business remains focused on supporting the dealer channel and our OEM customers, our investment in SimpleTire is part of our effort to continue bringing innovation and technology to the tire industry.”

The phrase “core business” is interesting, because it implies Dealer Tire also is involved in other businesses to some extent. Will that soon include shipping tires for SimpleTire, the online tire retailer known for its innovative e-commerce platform? SimpleTire already has a network of more than 10,000 independent tire dealers and over 3,000 independent supply points.

On Dealer Tire’s website, the company is all about helping auto manufacturers and franchised automobile dealerships “grow their tire and light maintenance business. Period.” That’s a pretty emphatic way of saying it will not be shipping tires to non-car dealerships.

However, Mueller also said the following:

“We’ve developed strong core expertise in logistics, technology, merchandising, marketing and more. We will leverage our expertise and SimpleTire’s capabilities to create new opportunities for both companies.”

When asked, "Will Dealer Tire ship or is it looking into shipping tires from its warehouses to SimpleTire’s network of independent tire dealers?" Dealer Tire had this to say:
"We’re very early on in the process and are continuing to develop our approach collaboratively with our partners."

As for its relationship with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Bridgestone Americas Inc. following the creation of TireHub LLC, here is a quote from Jill Marcotte, partner and chief supply chain officer for Dealer Tire: “We enjoy an exceptional working relationship with Bridgestone and Goodyear. They have assured us that they value our partnership and that they will continue to fully support our business model. It’s an exciting time to be in the tire business, and we’re looking forward to continuing to adapt and evolve in an ever-changing landscape.”

Dealer Tire buys Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly from Goodyear, and Bridgestone and Firestone from Bridgestone. It also offers Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Continental, General, Hankook, Kumho, Nexen, Pirelli, Toyo and Yokohama tires to car dealerships. Only Kelly and Uniroyal are non-OE brands.

The company says it serves the following vehicle brands: Audi, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Notably absent is Chrysler/Fiat (FCA), which was listed as a preferred vendor last year.

Dealer Tire evolved from the Mueller family’s retail business, which began in 1918. A company doesn’t survive 100 years without being able to change with the times, and that could include a change in its customer base down the road.

Related Topics: BTS Tire & Wheel Distributors, car dealerships, Dealer Tire, Jill Marcotte, Scott Mueller, Simple Tire LLC, TireHub, wholesale distributors

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Inside scoop

     | about 7 months ago

    Dealer Tire had to diversify , they lost the Chrysler - jeep -dodge program. Soon more auto manufacturers will part ways with Dealer Tire and their program

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