It's a Wonderland World - and It's Getting Bigger

Aug. 4, 2021

Wonderland Tire Co.’s March 2021 acquisition of Newport, Ky.-based Sumerel Tire Service Inc. does more than give the Bryon Center, Mich.-based dealership three additional plants — one in Kentucky, one in Ohio and another in Tennessee. 

The buy-out also gives Wonderland Tire an even bigger springboard for further development of its AcuTread retreader network. 

The dealership acquired the AcuTread retreading process and trademark from Bob Majewski, co-owner of Sumerel Tire Service, and Terry Westhafer, who is now retired, in 2014. Wonderland Tire began using the AcuTread process in 1998. 

“Wonderland has always seen retreading — and specifically AcuTread — as a cornerstone for our business,” says Jon Langerak, Wonderland Tire’s chairman and CEO. 

AcuTread presents “an excellent option for our customers to operate their equipment at the lowest cost-per-mile. We will be looking to expand our AcuTread program and network over the next few years and are working to add dealers and manufacturers.” 

Going new places

Majewski remains based at Wonderland Tire’s plant in Newport, Ky., where Sumerel Tire Service had been headquartered. He decided to stay on as Wonderland Tire’s technical director. Joe Disser, who was president of Sumerel Tire Service, is now Wonderland Tire’s president of operations, overseeing the Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee plants. 

Sumerel Tire Service, which employs around 60 people, is “currently a dba under Wonderland,” notes Majewski. 

He was approached by Langerak about a potential buy-out several years ago. “Jon said, ‘Bob, now that we have AcuTread, we don’t want anybody buying you.’ So we worked out a deal and it was great for all of our employees. And it will be a great thing going forward. 

“We just thought, ‘We’ll get together and make (AcuTread) bigger.’ We have plans to take AcuTread to other things and places.” 

Majewski says Wonderland Tire “has a really good model, which has taken them from one or two locations to more than 10 now. That’s what we’ve been trying to get independent retreaders to see.” 

Major investments

Langerak is equally quick to praise Sumerel Tire Service and its management. 

“Bob and his team have done an excellent job over the years of using the latest technologies and running modern, well-maintained equipment and trucks,” he says.

“In the last couple of years, they have installed a new dual hub buffer in their Kentucky plant and have bought several new service and delivery trucks for their different locations.” 

Langerak says Wonderland Tire is investing in the recently acquired retread plants “in a substantial way. We will be installing eight Cima presses — along with molds and bead plates — to produce a full line of AcuTread products for the Tennessee market. 

“This also will include the addition of an AcuTreader rubber extruder for building the tires,” he notes. 

Another facility will receive five new presses “that will increase energy efficiency and production numbers.” 

Wonderland Tire has capacity to produce more than 137,000 retreads a year across its four plants. “This acquisition will allow for the continued growth of our company.” 

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.