Three months after Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Bridgestone Americas Inc. announced it was forming a joint venture wholesaling operation, TireHub LLC is distributing consumer tires to dealers and retailers across the country.
The joint venture’s mission statement is posted on the TireHub website, www.tirehub.com:
“Our mission is to distribute the highest quality products possible to our customers so they can put their customers on tires they’ll love.
“The difference in driving on any tire and the right tire is a mile wide – in safety, efficiency and performance. We want every driver to enjoy their experience behind the wheel, to feel safe and have fun.
“We know that a tire specially designed for your customer will make all the difference in the world.
“To ensure drivers have access to tires they’ll love, we focus obsessively on our dealers and retailers. With more availability of best-in-class products and reliable deliveries, TireHub is committed to helping our dealers say yes to every customer.”
But how will the 50-50 joint venture accomplish that mission? Modern Tire Dealer interviewed Peter Gibbons, TireHub’s CEO, for some clarification. (Editor Bob Ulrich will run part two of the interview in his blog on Wednesday.)
MTD: Will TireHub consolidate any of the 83 distribution centers formerly run by Goodyear and Bridgestone? Will you add any DCs in the future?
Gibbons: In some markets we do have former Goodyear and former Bridgestone locations in close proximity, even just a few miles apart, so job No. 1 is stand up TireHub with a great focus on serving customers and bring a real passion to that. At the same time we want to show efficiency in ordering and delivery, so we will combine some centers which are very close to each other. I should stress that we’re also offering everybody in those centers a job; everyone’s been offered a job within TireHub because we need that experience and that skill set. So job one is to stabilize the network and focus, bring a new passion to serving dealers and retailers, and then as our strategy evolves, as we see opportunities to grow out that network to provide better service and better coverage, we will doing that.
MTD: Are you only distributing consumer tires?
Gibbons: The focus is pretty much on the consumer side. But there are some commercial tires that we will be distributing as well.
MTD: TireHub offers the Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly, Bridgestone, Firestone, Fuzion, LeMans and Toyo brands. Are you currently negotiating with any other manufacturers to distribute their tires?
Gibbons: My focus today is very much on making TireHub a big success…. We’ve got plans on our plate to make sure we provide great service… that we make sure we’re providing Bridgestone and Goodyear products with great service levels. (For) now focus is very much on getting us (propped) up. Now, over time things can change. Things can change as we understand what dealers and retailers want, as we understand how to service the market, be a great partner with dealers and retailers. But for the moment we are very much focused on standing up TireHub as it is today and making it a big success.