Southern Tire Mart Acquires Friend Tire From Yokohama
Southern Tire Mart LLC has acquired Friend Tire Co. from Yokohama Tire Corp. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Friend Tire was a wholly owned subsidiary of Yokohama.
The transaction gives Southern Tire Mart nine additional distribution centers that Friend Tire had owned and operated.
They are located in Albuquerque, N.M.; Memphis, Tenn.; Belton, Texas; Davenport, Fla.; Monett, Mo.; St. Charles, Mo.; Shreveport, La.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
The locations are now operating as Southern Tire Mart outlets, effective April 3.
“This agreement was finalized on April 1, 2023,” Yokohama said in a statement issued today. “Sales of the Yokohama brand through (Friend Tire) have been transferred to” Southern Tire Mart “and include all the rights and access that were afforded” to Friend Tire.
“Yokohama and Southern Tire Mart have enjoyed a long-term relationship in the U.S. market,” says Jeff Barna, president and CEO of Yokohama Tire Corp.
“We are proud to have completed this agreement with a trusted partner and one that is certain to improve upon Friend Tire’s legacy.”
“Yokohama has been a long-standing, valued partner,” says Southern Tire Mart Co-owner Jim Duff. “We’ve known about Friend Tire’s solid reputation for a long time and this agreement will definitely help expand our strategic footprint.”
Friend Tire was established in 1956 in Monett, Mo.
Based in Columbia, Miss., Southern Tire Mart is the largest independent commercial tire dealership in the U.S., according to MTD research.
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“Our number one goal is to take care of the Friend Tire customer base and take care of the employees who are there,” says Southern Tire Mart’s Keven Haddox.
Southern Tire Mart acquired Friend Tire from Yokohama Tire Corp. on April 1, giving the Columbia, Miss.-based commercial tire dealership nine additional wholesale-distribution locations. (Prior to that, Southern Tire Mart had three warehouses – one in Laurel, Miss.; one in Birmingham, Ala.; and another in Dallas, Texas.)
Southern Tire Mart entered the wholesale-distribution business around seven years ago “as a way to support our stores,” says Haddox, who managers Southern Tire Mart’s business west of the Mississippi River.
“We then found out there were a lot of things we can offer.”
In addition to expanding Southern Tire Mart’s reach and helping the company “with territories we’re already in,” the Friend Tire acquisition gives the dealership access to two additional brands – Falken and Nexen.
Friend Tire “has two predominant lines that we did not have,” says Haddox. “We’d done some business with Falken here and there, but not Nexen. We’re moving forward with doing business with both of those companies. Their lines are very important to Friend Tire’s customer base.
“Our whole goal right now is to take care of our customer base and new employees first,” says Haddox.
“Then after that, we’ll look at how we can help Southern Tire Mart and also look for opportunities to grow our (wholesale) business,” while maintaining Fried Tire’s existing client base.
“As we get everybody comfortable here over the next month or so, there will be some opportunities we’ll be able to provide to those customers – where wanted or needed.”
Southern Tire Mart is the largest independent commercial tire dealership in the U.S. and the country’s largest retreader, according to MTD data. Its owners, Jim and Tommy Duff, were recipients of MTD’s Tire Dealer of the Year Award in 2021.