ATD looks at Winston tire brand following Goodyear withdrawal

June 29, 2006

American Tire Distributors Inc. will assess the future of its Winston brand following Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s decision to withdraw as one of its suppliers.

Goodyear announced its plans to withdraw from certain segments of the private brand business in North America on June 21. Winston is one of the 10 brands affected, along with Multi-Mile and Cordovan from TBC Corp. and a number of SURE Tire Co. brands, according to Modern Tire Dealer research.

In an official statement, ATD says Goodyear will help transition ATD and its' dealers "to alternative products and sources of supply" over the next 12 months.

"There are multiple manufacturers, both domestic and off-shore, competing in the lower price tiers of the tire market," says Ron Sinclair, ATD's vice president of marketing. "ATD sources product from many of these suppliers and will continue to have an unsurpassed product offering for our dealers across all price tiers."

ATD has developed a plan to transition the Winston brand volume to other lines in its offering. Sinclair says ATD has been developing an ATD strategy for this entry-level product segment for a long time, "long before this recent announcement, and our dealers will see the first phase of the strategy, and the corresponding benefits to them, implemented in the very short term."

Sinclair adds that ATD is evaluating other sources to supply the Winston brand.