Discount Tire Is Acquiring Tire Rack (2024)

Two of the largest names in the tire industry will become one. Discount Tire, the largest independent tire dealer in the U.S. with 1,100 stores, is acquiring Tire Rack, the industry's oldest and largest online tire seller.

Discount Tire says the acquisition shows its commitment "to provide the most inviting, easy, and safe omnichannel, (business-to-business) B2B, and fleet customer experiences in the world."

The transaction is expected to close Dec. 31, 2021.

Discount Tire's CEO Dean Muglia 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. The Veldman family, founders of Tire Rack, will have representation on the board of directors of Discount Tire.

In a combined announcement from the companies, Discount Tire says it will continue to use the Tire Rack name and website, as well as the TR Wholesale Solutions name that tire dealers are familiar with. Tire Rack's Mobile Installation business also will continue under its existing name.

“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 Muglia. “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.”

Joines has been with Tire Rack since its start and was tasked with running the company by its founder his father-in-law — Peter Veldman.

“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 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.”

As of October 31, 2021, Tire Rack employed more than 950 employees. It will become wholly owned by Discount Tire, and the Tire Rack headquarters will remain in South Bend, Indiana.

“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.”

Tire Rack is the pioneer when it comes to selling tires online, but the company’s direct-to-consumer business began with a mail-order catalog.

It was founded in 1979 by Peter Veldman. By that time Veldman was already operating a service station in South Bend, Ind., and a retail store, Veldman’s Service Center, which grew to have 15 service bays in the 1960s. The growth continued through the 1970s, and tire sales were an important and growing part of that business.

In 1979 Veldman started Tire Rack in Indianapolis, and by 1982 the business began selling specialty tires to enthusiasts via mail-order catalogs.

By 1990, Tire Rack turned its attention fully to the mail order business and the retail store closed. In 1995, Tire Rack added tire testing to its repertoire.

In 2012 when Veldman was inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame, he admitted he was initially skeptical that his mail-order idea would work for tires. But then again he saw a need for customers to easily find and acquire specialty tires.

His gamble turned out to be spot on, and Tire Rack would become one of the first tire companies with an online presence. By 2014, “the Rack” as it’s often referred, counted 50 million visitors to its website each year. Tire Rack combined tires with expertise and deep wells of information, from reviews to fitments, to become a go-to source for tire information.

The company has 10 distribution centers in the U.S. with more than 2.8 million square feet of space, and its corporate headquarters remain in South Bend. Enthusiasts who live in or near South Bend can still have their tires installed on site in the service bays attached to the warehouse.

In July, Discount Tire's Dean Muglia told Modern Tire Dealer that “nothing is off the table."

Discount Tire Is Acquiring Tire Rack (2024)
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