Tire Rack purchased by Discount Tire

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Dec 6, 2021 | Tire Rack

Ken Neher photo

Big news as giant tire retailer Discount Tire just acquired giant tire retailer Tire Rack.

But what about all of that SCCA support?

The SCCA’s Heyward Wagner shared this on the SCCA Time Trials Nationals Facebook group:

This is very exciting news for SCCA’s longest standing partner-  We got the “head’s up” call a bit ago.  Tire Rack brand will carry forward, remain headquartered in South Bend and will continue to be a big part of SCCA.  We are looking forward to continued partnership for years to come!

Here's the entire release about the merger:

Discount Tire, a leading independent retailer of tires and wheels, is acquiring Tire Rack, a leading independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, wheels and performance accessories. The acquisition is a significant investment in Discount Tire's commitment to provide the most Inviting, Easy, and Safe omnichannel, B2B, and fleet customer experiences in the world. The transaction is expected to close December 31, 2021.

Discount Tire chief executive officer Dean Muglia, a 32-year veteran of the business, will continue as CEO of Discount Tire. Mike Joines, with 42 years leading Tire Rack, will join the combined organization as CEO of Tire Rack along with Matt Edmonds and Mark Veldman of Tire Rack's executive team. The Tire Rack executive team and management team will continue in their roles to advance the company's digital sales and online customer experience and partner with Discount Tire on integration efforts. The Veldman family, founders of Tire Rack, will have representation on the Board of Directors of Discount Tire. 

Discount Tire, which was founded by Bruce T. Halle in 1960 and remains privately held, intends to continue to use the Tire Rack brand name as TIRERACK.COM online, TR Wholesale Solutions in car dealer and wholesale channels, and TIRE RACK MOBILE INSTALLATION in the mobile installation arena. The company, which is legally named The Reinalt-Thomas Corporation, currently does business as Discount Tire in most of the U.S., America's Tire in parts of California, and Discount Tire Direct online.

Tire Rack was founded by Peter and Wilma Veldman along with Mike Joines in 1979 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and grew rapidly as one of the most trusted and respected sources of information for online buyers of tires, wheels and accessories. As of October 31, 2021, privately held, family-owned Tire Rack employed more than 950 Team Members. It will become wholly owned by Discount Tire, also a privately held family-owned business, at closing. Tire Rack Team Members will be integrated into Discount Tire with the Tire Rack headquarters being maintained in South Bend, Indiana.

"We have for many years admired one another from afar, each pushing the industry forward to meet customers where they are most confident shopping for tires and wheels," said Dean Muglia, CEO at Discount Tire. "We could not be more excited about adding Tire Rack's operations and its excellent team led by Mike Joines, who I've come to know well. This accelerates our omnichannel strategy, provides a broader distribution network and a platform to enhance our B2B and fleet capabilities. Quite simply, we are better together."

"The acquisition of Tire Rack is a natural pairing of two storied, family-owned brands that built thriving businesses by treating people how they want to be treated, and focusing on delivering the best possible experiences for our people and our customers," said Michael Zuieback, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Discount Tire. "We were attracted to Tire Rack for the vision they share with Discount Tire in transforming the omnichannel, B2B and fleet customer experiences. We are excited to collaborate on enhancing the tools and technologies that will advance an entire industry. Together, we will make more dreams come true for all our wonderful people." 

"We believe we can provide a greater impact through better service to Customers that have chosen Tire Rack for their tire and wheel needs and provide better opportunities for our Team Members through this partnership," said Mike Joines, Tire Rack CEO. "Joining the Discount Tire family is an incredible milestone for our business, an opportunity for our Team Members and a testament to the hard work and legacy of Pete and Wilma Veldman. We're thrilled to become a part of Discount Tire, a company that serves customers through an Inviting, Easy, and Safe experience while also taking care of and valuing their Team Members."

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Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/3/21 7:04 p.m.

Nipped you by almost 2 hours wink

maj75 (Forum Supporter)
maj75 (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/3/21 7:25 p.m.

Great press release, but how long will that arrangement last?  In how many of these "takeovers" in the past, has the company "taken over" thrived?

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
12/3/21 7:26 p.m.

Who's e30 m3 is that?

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/3/21 7:28 p.m.

I wonder how this is going to affect the development of the Tire Rack ASAP mobile installation service. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/3/21 8:09 p.m.

My tires just got more expensive. sad

For 20 years, I bought from Tire Rack exclusively. Then they built a warehouse in my state and, subsequently, we had to start paying sales tax on the tires. So I switched to Discount Tire, exclusively. Now it looks like they own a warehouse in my state. sad

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

Me too.  I've picked up several sets from Windsor Locks but recently have ordered tires/wheels from DTD.

Both great organizations, I hope that TR continues to support SCCA and DTD stays with NASCAR. 

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture UltimaDork
12/3/21 8:26 p.m.

I've had good experiences with both vendors but Discount Tire's site totally sucks compared to Tire Rack's, and their wheel/tire fitment calculator was making some bizarre errors when I was shopping for my NC. They lost a sale on a $1200 set of wheels because the site literally would not let me order them.

Hopefully this acquisition introduces good synergies instead of bringing out the worst aspects of each company.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
12/3/21 8:45 p.m.

I have no experience with Discount Tire but I've always been happy with The Tire Rack.  I hope that doesn't change.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/3/21 8:51 p.m.

I was always a Tire Rack person. 

Not sure how I feel about this.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/3/21 8:59 p.m.

I gotta say: the term "omnichannel", or the number of times it was used in the above, doesn't fill me with the "feel goods"

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/3/21 9:02 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

My tires just got more expensive. sad

For 20 years, I bought from Tire Rack exclusively. Then they built a warehouse in my state and, subsequently, we had to start paying sales tax on the tires. So I switched to Discount Tire, exclusively. Now it looks like they own a warehouse in my state. sad

Uh, we started having to pay sales tax on all online purchases based on where it was being delivered last year...

Shadeux
Shadeux GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/3/21 9:10 p.m.

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

"omnichannel"="all your base are belong to us"

dps214
dps214 Dork
12/3/21 9:11 p.m.

My take as someone not at all involved in the industry:

I've seen TR employees on other forums saying they're happy about it, or at least not sad/concerned/worried/looking for other employment. TR's (now former I guess) owners will still be involved and the TR CEO will be on the DT board. All motorsports ties (and other support deals) are staying. Functionally it seems like nothing is really going to change.

As for pricing, and this is where the "not in the industry" part comes in, I don't really think anything will change. From what I've seen tire prices are set by the manufacturer, not the retailers, and there's still a ton of competition at the manufacturer level, even if there's only one place you can purchase any of them from. Any major brand tire I've looked at has been the same price on DT and TR within a few bucks (even closer since TR went to free shipping), and the couple of times I've looked also the same price as direct from the manufacturer (specifically goodyear). TR's value add is free road hazard protection and good customer service, DT's is selling super cheap crap and their semi-frequent flash sales. I suppose it's possible those get weakened over time (though I kind of doubt it since there are still some other competitors) but I can't imagine the actual tire prices are going to change any, because they're not really in control of that.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
12/3/21 9:43 p.m.

Hmmm. I feel a bit concerned that TR will go downhill. I hope I'm wrong.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/4/21 8:29 a.m.

I see absolutely no potential benefit for anyone buying tires here.  And plenty of potential future downsides.  Both companies do essentially the exact same thing (sell tires & wheels), so this is basically reducing competition and choice, no matter how they spin it. 

15f80
15f80 New Reader
12/4/21 11:26 a.m.

Reducing competition is bad. I hope they don't change the website and keep doing the tire reviews. I have been recommending TireRack.com to people as one of the best sites for researching tires online for at least 14 years.

I don't know for sure how long it's been but I think I have been buying from Tire Rack for almost 40 years. It might take me a week to find the receipt, assuming I still have it.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/4/21 12:24 p.m.

So tires are commodity. They don't really have a fast expiration point but there is one and they require certain parameters regarding care and storage. As with any commodity the buying power and the quality of your distribution and logistics is what matters pertaining to price more than true competition within the marketplace. 

Where pricing as it relates to competition will come into play is DT/TR will now be able to absolutely drown out and bury every regional distributor, resulting in a significant decrease in competition at that level within the next 24-36 months. When that occurs they will become the go-to default supplier at the wholesale level for shops for OE dealership networks who will likely be leasing DT/TR warehouse space to house tires that are owned by the OE distribution chain. 

The biggest thing that the end consumer will see and notice, is that NTB, Merchants, Goodyear and Firestone shops Will not be able to compete price wise within the market for tires when compared to dealerships and independent shops, as their distribution networks,  NTW I'm looking at you, will not be able to compete at a competitive price point. They've always been at the very fringe of competitive with regards to maintaining profit margin anyway. Losing those outlets will be a death of the poor business model and everyone will benefit. 

 

But that is not even why DT/TR or making the move, it is just a repercussion of it. Costco And their distribution network and strategy and abilities to hold profit margin and move volume is the reason that the move is being made. They need to maintain an improve their competitiveness within the market against Costco, who does it right. It's not that Costco is a bad evil entity It's just that they have buying power they have systems there are efficient and they execute to plan. DT/TR has been working on developing a remote install program that matches Costco's in store program with regards to price point for tires installed for a little more than 2 years now. I suspect that economies of scale in the two brands effectively joining together under one umbrella is needed to make it happen. 

Carman944
Carman944 New Reader
12/4/21 12:33 p.m.

I've been a wholesale Tire Rack distributor since 1986.  I have always had a good relationship with them & have always had good results.  

On the Discount Tire side, I have had a few utterly terrible  transactions with them.  Mostly my local Discount Tire store so I hope those problems were based on bad employee's there.

Unsure if this will be a good thing as competition promotes better business practices.  Now that they are "one", I'm also not sure if this makes me feel "warm & fuzzy"...  indecision

RonB001
RonB001 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
12/4/21 2:24 p.m.

I've had good experiences with both companies.

Tire Rack's test reports are the most valuable pieces of information in the entire industry, with the possible exception of GRM's actual tire tests.  I hope DT lets them keep doing that.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed UltraDork
12/4/21 5:12 p.m.

I would have liked it better if TR purchased DT. Can we have a do over or TR 2.0?

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
12/4/21 6:29 p.m.
Shadeux said:

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

"omnichannel"="all your base are belong to us"

someone set us up the bomb

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
12/4/21 7:24 p.m.
pointofdeparture said:

I've had good experiences with both vendors but Discount Tire's site totally sucks compared to Tire Rack's, and their wheel/tire fitment calculator was making some bizarre errors when I was shopping for my NC. They lost a sale on a $1200 set of wheels because the site literally would not let me order them.

Weird.  

I have had great experiences with both vendors.  I'd say 95% of TR's site is better than DTD, but DTD will let you search by wheel size, which Tire Rack has never allowed and has been a gripe for many people.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
12/4/21 8:27 p.m.
stuart in mn said:

I have no experience with Discount Tire but I've always been happy with The Tire Rack.  I hope that doesn't change.

I have used both.  Lately discount tire because they swap tires for me winter to summer and summer back to winter if I buy them from them. 
     

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/5/21 6:02 p.m.

I use TR wholesale daily a work. They better not Berkley this up. 

glyn ellis
glyn ellis New Reader
12/6/21 10:26 a.m.

I've used Discount Tire a lot in the last couple of years and have been very happy with the service from my local (Pittsburgh) branch. I've bought  a lot of tires from Tire Rack in the past, and mainly switched from TR after getting some crappy advice about tires being suitable for track use. After the tires started chunking, they denied saying the tires were suitable for track usage.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/6/21 12:47 p.m.

I have been super happy with DT, and they use torque wrenches, and they install tires while you wait in the car. The prices were always near identical to TR, but you don't need to mess around.

 

If they keep the website TR built, then this is a win for me.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
12/7/21 9:50 a.m.

I solved the whole conundrum years ago. I buy from my local tire guy who is knowledgeable about performance tires, offers fair prices, and is right there when I may have an issue. I don't have to make long distance calls or wait days for service. In the long run, I don't pay any more for tires than either TR or DT. And, just for the record, I have never liked DT's website, just doesn't have the lean toward performance tires like TR.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/7/21 10:22 a.m.

I usually use TR, or buy from my local independent.

I bought some Continentals for the Mazda 5 this year in one of the DT flash sales. The tires they sent me were over 3 1/2 years old. They were willing to change them out, and issued a pick up order, but then never sent out the replacement tires until I called again 3 weeks later. It took a lot more effort and time on my part than was necessary.

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
12/7/21 10:23 a.m.

Discount Tire won 100% of my tire business 5-6 years ago.  They have two local shops in town and they are fanatical about customer service.   Zero-hassle, proactively offered to prorate my tires that wore out before they were rated to.   

TR's biggest miss (for me) was a wheel shopping experience.  For an outlet that leans into motorsports, it's an infuriating place to try to shop for wheels.

kevinatfms
kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/7/21 10:55 a.m.

I hate the DTD website. Tire Rack's website is the best around and the prices are extremely fair. 

I have bought tires and wheels from both so as long as they get better and keep prices down im all for it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/7/21 4:10 p.m.

Our local Discount Tire always seems very excited to see us, even when bringing in our own tires and wheels. 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/7/21 6:43 p.m.

I used America's Tire exclusively for years in California. Then the DT in Bend tried to dick me over (charged me for work they didn't do and then took like three hours to do the refund). I've been using local places since. The one I use for Miata tires is a rally prep shop so they always have cool stuff in the shop. 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
12/7/21 9:01 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Our local Discount Tire always seems very excited to see us, even when bringing in our own tires and wheels. 

I don't think tire shops mind that so much since I suspect the margin on tires today isn't really all that good. All the money's in the services and contract things like road hazard protection.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/8/21 7:55 a.m.
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) said:

TR's biggest miss (for me) was a wheel shopping experience.  For an outlet that leans into motorsports, it's an infuriating place to try to shop for wheels.

When it comes to wheels, I always buy from the specialty shops anyway. Flyin Miata, 949, Vorshlag, Evasive, CSG, etc. As they are the ones who have taken the time to work out the fitments and then carry the wheels. 

Tire Rack and likely DTD can't really offer the fitment advice and the specifics the specialty shops can. 

For example, on the Gen 1 BRZ/FR-S, you can fit 18x9.5 ET38 with 255/35 under stock fenders.......but you need the smaller diameter coil spring of a coilover for the inside room. I don't expect places like Tire Rack to get into stuff like that. But the aftermarket shops do.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
12/8/21 8:14 a.m.
GCrites80s said:
David S. Wallens said:

Our local Discount Tire always seems very excited to see us, even when bringing in our own tires and wheels. 

I don't think tire shops mind that so much since I suspect the margin on tires today isn't really all that good. All the money's in the services and contract things like road hazard protection.

I think a lot of shops also appreciate scheduling flexibility.  I usually get tires mounted in the context of "here's a pile of wheels and tires, please assemble, let me know when they're done and I'll come pick them up."  In that case, I don't care if it takes them 2 days. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
12/8/21 4:20 p.m.
z31maniac said:
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) said:

TR's biggest miss (for me) was a wheel shopping experience.  For an outlet that leans into motorsports, it's an infuriating place to try to shop for wheels.

When it comes to wheels, I always buy from the specialty shops anyway. Flyin Miata, 949, Vorshlag, Evasive, CSG, etc. As they are the ones who have taken the time to work out the fitments and then carry the wheels. 

Tire Rack and likely DTD can't really offer the fitment advice and the specifics the specialty shops can. 

For example, on the Gen 1 BRZ/FR-S, you can fit 18x9.5 ET38 with 255/35 under stock fenders.......but you need the smaller diameter coil spring of a coilover for the inside room. I don't expect places like Tire Rack to get into stuff like that. But the aftermarket shops do.

10 years ago Tire Rack did a good job of this but usually only for specific competition classes.  TRM wheels were sized appropriately for competition cars and a pretty fair price.  TRM 17x9 STR S2000 Fitment, NC Miata Fitment.  15x9 STR Miata Fitment, etc.

 

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