The FINANCIAL — The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Goodyear) and Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (Bridgestone) on April 16 announced they are forming one of the largest tire distribution joint ventures in the United States.
TireHub, LLC, will provide U.S. tire dealers and retailers with a comprehensive range of passenger and light truck tires from two of the world’s leading tire companies, with an emphasis on satisfying rapidly growing demand for larger rim diameter premium tires.
TireHub will combine Goodyear’s company-owned wholesale distribution network with Bridgestone-owned Tire Wholesale Warehouse (TWW). The transaction will enable Bridgestone and Goodyear to grow their respective tire businesses and capture enhanced value for their brands. The transaction is subject to customary approvals and is expected to close mid-year.
At launch, TireHub will have the scale to reach the vast majority of retail locations in the U.S. daily. The new distribution company will complement both companies’ networks of existing third-party distributors and provide a superior, fully integrated distribution, warehousing, sales and delivery solution immediately following completion of the transaction, according to Goodyear.
“It’s critical for U.S. tire dealers and retailers to be able to get the right tires on time to meet the needs and expectations of their customers. TireHub will help position dealers to win in today’s dynamic and increasingly complex environment by giving them much needed access to a deeper and broader range of passenger and light truck tires from Bridgestone,” said TJ Higgins, president, integrated consumer tire group, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas.
“With the ability to deliver the full portfolio of Goodyear products and a dedicated focus on driving logistics and customer service excellence, TireHub creates a winning proposition for us, our customers, Goodyear’s company-owned retail outlets and consumers, whose expectations and shopping patterns continue to evolve,” said Steve McClellan, president, Goodyear Americas.
Best-in-class service for customers
TireHub is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of tire dealers and retailers, as well as the consumers they serve. Both Bridgestone and Goodyear expect that TireHub will provide enhanced fill rates and turnaround times to ensure dealers can quickly access the products they need. TireHub will deliver a best-in-class customer experience through a single sales force and new online ordering portal that integrates easily with dealers’ point-of-sale systems.
TireHub also will help Goodyear and Bridgestone customers manage growing complexity in the tire business, driven by SKU proliferation. The new distributor will provide on-demand access to the full array of products from both companies, which is critical for their customers, who typically have limited inventory space at their locations.
Nationwide footprint, proven leadership to drive logistics excellence
Headquartered in Atlanta, TireHub initially will have more than 80 distribution centers and warehouse locations throughout the nation. The company’s physical assets at launch will be a combination of legacy Bridgestone TWW and Goodyear facilities.
TireHub will be a 50-50 joint venture between Goodyear and Bridgestone and will be managed by an independent management team led by CEO Peter Gibbons. Gibbons is a veteran business and supply chain executive, with 25 years of experience leading manufacturing and supply chain activities in the consumer, retail and specialty chemicals industries. While in senior leadership roles at both Mattel and Starbucks, Gibbons led customer-centric efforts to transform both companies’ supply chains, improving fulfillment and speed to market.