The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the nation's largest tire maker, said yesterday that it has purchased 27 retail tire and auto service centers in the Washington area from Market Tire of Maryland Inc.
The Market Tire centers will be operated as Goodyear tire and auto service outlets. Goodyear's acquisition, which was finalized Dec. 30, also includes the Market Tire warehouse and office building in Rockville.
Neither company would disclose the purchase price.
"The addition of the Market Tire outlets to the Goodyear organization will greatly enhance our presence in the greater Washington metropolitan area," said James W. Barnett, Goodyear's vice president for replacement tire sales and marketing.
Goodyear's purchase increases its number of outlets in the area to 64. An additional 70 independent service centers are located in the area, many of which are operated under Goodyear's banner, said John Perduyn, a spokesman for the Akron, Ohio-based firm.
"For the past year, we have identified markets where we were less than adequate in the amount of distribution we had," said Perduyn. "We did a similar thing on the West Coast last year when we bought 107 tire and auto service centers," he said.
In September, Goodyear purchased three subsidiaries of Texas Eastern Corp. of Houston -- Mark C. Bloome Inc. in the Los Angeles area, Gerard Tire Service in northern California and Sims Tire and Automotive Service Center in Denver. Goodyear now has approximately 1,200 company-owned outlets nationwide and 600 franchised centers.
Goodyear's purchase of Market Tire assets does not include the Rockville-based company's subsidiary, Market Tire Educational Services Inc., which operates four accredited schools in the District, Alexandria and Baltimore that offer word processing, medical assistance, computer programming, secretarial and automotive courses.
"We will be expanding our curriculum and opening schools in other areas of the country," said Irwin S. Monsein, chief executive officer of Market Tire, a private company that began operating in 1952.