The Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC (ITDG) has joined forces with another independent tire dealer network, Europe’s point S Development. According to ITDG CEO and President Mike Cox, the partnership plays to the strengths of both organizations.
“point S management and their partnering countries realize the importance of the independent tire dealer, and the ability for them to maintain that independency,” he says.
ITDG represents 350 independent tire and auto service locations in 27 states. point S is the leading independent tire and auto service dealer network in Europe with more than 2,000 point-of-sale members in 21 countries. The point S trademark was established in France in 1971.
Both networks were founded as purchasing groups, and have similar business models. They have five common suppliers: Continental, Hankook, Pirelli, Yokohama and GITI.
Over the years, point S has moved from a purchasing cooperative to a marketing-purchasing group concept. The ITDG has “initiated the same move,” says Cox, although without common retail signage.
The organizations made the partnership official at the Global Tire Expo on Nov. 1. The exposition is part of the 2011 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show in Las Vegas, Nev.
“We are very pleased and proud to formalize our relationship with ITDG, as we are sharing with their management and members the same core values: independency, professionalism, entrepreneurial spirit as well as human relations,” says Fabien Bouquet, point S international operations director. “Even if we are living in two different continents, we clearly realized through our meetings and discussions over the past years that we are facing a lot of similar issues in the American and European markets with possible synergies to solve some of them.
“The first step of our cooperation development has been achieved by granting ITDG the exclusive and legal representation of the point S retail concept for the United States. The rapprochement of ITDG and point S is forming the largest independent tire dealers network worldwide.”
Cox adds that other possible mutual benefits of the “joint cooperation” include the sharing of exclusive “budget brands,” which may give ITDG members access to a point S private brand tire line produced by Continental AG, and joint sourcing from Asia for car parts.