Think major changes in the wholesale tire distribution channel were over for this year? Think again.
Max Finkelstein Inc. and Treadmaxx Tire Distributors Inc. have formed a wholesale buying group, Tire Distributors of the Americas LLC. The new member-managed venture, which has been a couple years in the making, will leverage the purchasing power of both founding distributors to create, as the companies state in a joint press release, "advantageous partnerships with vendors and suppliers in all aspects of business where symmetries exist among distributors."
Target areas of cost savings range from equipment and supplies, to technology and insurance, with a primary focus on strategic tire manufacturers and proprietary offerings.
In January, National Tire Wholesale, the second largest tire wholesaler in the U.S. behind American Tire Distributors Inc., was created when Michelin North America Inc. purchased 50% of TBC Corp. from Sumitomo Corporation of Americas. The joint venture combined Michelin’s more than 85 Tire Centers LLC distribution centers with TBC’s 59 Carroll Tire distribution centers.
In April, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Bridgestone Americas Inc. formed TireHub LLC by merging their company-owned wholesale consumer tire distribution networks. TireHub combined Goodyear’s 45 wholesale warehouses on the retail side with Bridgestone’s 38 Tire Wholesale Warehouse (TWW) warehouses.
Max Finkelstein, based in Astoria, N.Y., has 15 strategically located distribution centers across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. It sells Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly, Pirelli, Kumho, Falken and Kenda brands, among others.
"This new venture allows our two companies and the members of the group to leverage our knowledge and best practices, eliminate redundancy in the supply chain and create greater purchasing power," said Ira Silver, CEO and president of Max Finkelstein.
Treadmaxx Tire Distributors, based in Atlanta, delivers tires from 14 warehouses in seven states. It offers Michelin, BFGoodrich, Continental, General, Cooper, Mastercraft, Starfire, Roadmaster, Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly, Fierce, Kumho, Ohtsu, Pirelli, Toyo and Carlisle. (Kauffman sold its 69 retail stores to Mavis Tire Supply Corp. in January to focus on its wholesale distribution business.)
"As the tire industry continues to evolve, this will help strengthen the positions of all the members by leveraging best practices… which, in turn, will create a better value proposition for the independent tire dealer," said Mark Kauffman, CEO and president of Treadmaxx.
Combined, Max Finkelstein and Treadmaxx operate 29 regional tire distribution centers in 16 states, which cover the entire Eastern seaboard, and South-Central regions of the United States.
Tire Distributors of the Americas is structured as a strategic membership group, with opportunities for additional members. Silver and Kauffman are co-presidents. Sean Franciscus, director of supply chain for Max Finkelstein, is secretary. Brian Rose, vice president of purchasing and pricing for Treadmaxx, is treasurer.