Tire America Lives Again! Well, at Least Online

Bob Ulrich
Posted on July 5, 2018
The tireamerica.com tagline is "Your tires. Your way."
The tireamerica.com tagline is "Your tires. Your way."

Tire America is retailing tires again, thanks to TBC Corp. And like its former incarnation, it offers more brands than the norm.

First, some background. Tire America became a leading and progressive multi-regional tire retailer in the 1980s under founder Robert Ewing. It was one of the first retailers to market many brands, which included those marketed by Private Brands Ltd., itself a subsidiary of Tire America.

As you might expect, it was able to offer so many brands by keeping an average inventory of 4,000 tires at each store.

Tire America changed tire retailing in other ways, as well. It was one of the first large retailers with a low cost, high volume strategy, yet it tended to cater to upscale consumers and women, with nice showrooms. It brought a sort of professionalism to our industry. Tire America also advertised and promoted its tires heavily.

His innovative practices were the reason Ewing was elected to the Tire Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2009.

The fall of Tire America started in 1987, when Ewing sold the company's 60 stores, located in the mid-western and mid-Atlantic United States, to Western Auto Supply Co. Although Western Auto adopted a number of Tire America's merchanding and marketing techniques, it wasn't enough to save the company, which sold out to Sears, Roebuck & Co. in 1988.

Interestingly, prior to its sale to Sears, Western Auto purchased NTW Inc. and its 52 National Tire Warehouse outlets. (Some of you may remember those "fun" pricing battles between Tire America and NTW.)

Under Sears, the number of outlets grew. In 1997, Sears transformed the 275 Tire America and NTW stores into the NTB (National Tire & Battery) chain, and Tire America was no more. In 2003, TBC Corp. acquired all the NTB locations.

That brings us to the present. TBC quiently opened a new operating company under an old name, Tire America, earlier this year. The online company retails tires through tireamerica.com. TBC supports tireamerica.com with millions of tires in stock; some 1,413 affiliated installers help with installation.

The average independent tire dealer sells between 13 and 15 tire brands. The new Tire America offers 24 brands: BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper, Cordovan, Custom 428, Dunlop, Epic, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Kumho, Michelin, Mud Claw, Nexen, Nitto, Ohtsu, Performer, Pirelli, Sumitomo, Uniroyal, Velozza and Yokohama.

And so Tire America lives again. And, coincidentally, so does NTW, also in a different format.

When Michelin North America Inc. bought 50% of TBC Corp. from Sumitomo Corporation of Americas last February, the result was the second largest tire wholesaler in the U.S.

What did the partners call the new entity? National Tire Wholesale, or NTW.

Related Topics: Inventory management, light truck tires, NTW, passenger tires, private brand tires, Sears, TBC, Tire America

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 4 )
  • See all comments
  • BENJAMIN MASOYAN

     | about 3 months ago

    I have honestly never read such overwhelmingly good content like this. I agree with your points and your ideas. This info is really great. Thanks. Visit us: https://itiresonline.com/

More Stories
News

Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore Debuts to Great Acclaim

The calendar does not yet read January, but Michelin got a jump on the 2019 IMSA season, where the company will become the official tire of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with a highly successful Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring.

The Toyo Tires/Flying Lizard Porsche will run in the USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Photo by Bob Chapman.
News

Toyo Returns to the USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill to Attempt 4th Consecutive Win

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. and Flying Lizard Motorsports (FLM) return to the USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill to attempt a fourth consecutive overall win. In addition, Toyo Tires is partnering with two additional teams, ShiftUp Now and Valkyrie Autosport, to demonstrate the quality and strength of Toyo products in endurance racing.

The Duran Motorsports/Radar Tires No. 1016 Jimco Class 10 team hopes to improve on a season plagued with mechanical issues.
News

Duran Motorsports Seeks Redemption at SCORE Baja 1000

The 51st annual SCORE International Baja 1000 will once again throw everything it has at the racers, with rough whoops from San Matias to SF, lots of silt behind Cataviña, and some fast sections all along the beach section.

The Tire Discounters outlet at 138 Raider Lane in Chattanooga, Tenn., will be open by the end of 2018.
News

Four New Stores Will Give Tire Discounters 115

As of Jan. 1, 2019, there will be 112 Tire Discounters outlets in six states. The latest four outlets will be opened by the end of the year, says Tire Discounters Inc. President Jamie Ward.

The redesigned EXCEED site allows users to see consumer and commercial sections via one login.
News

Yokohama Updates Its Online Training Program

Yokohama Tire Corp. has redesigned its EXCEED online dealer training program. The new site features updated content and an improved user experience that includes streamlined access to product modules.

Article

What's More Important Than Consolidation and Wage Wars? Cash Flow

Tire dealers are feeling the heat. The big guys are growing bigger. Finding and keeping reliable technicians is getting more expensive. And technology is requiring more expensive shop upgrades. Doom and gloom? Dennis McCarron says no. "It’s not doom and gloom because this is awesome."

News

Global Tire Sales Greatly Aid Toyo's Results in 3Q 2018

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. posted net income of close to 11.3 billion yen on net sales of 285 billion yen for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2018. That compares to income of 11.7 billion yen on sales of 295.2 billion yen for the same period in fiscal 2017.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!