New England’s VIP/Quirk sells commercial tire operation to Pete’s

Jan. 1, 2020
VIP’s Quirk Tire has sold its commercial tire division to the Pete’s Tire Barns chain.

VIP’s Quirk Tire has sold its commercial tire division to the Pete’s Tire Barns chain.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The purchase will allow Pete’s to expand its sales and service of giant, farm, industrial and truck tires throughout the New England marketplace, according to Peter Gerry, Pete’s president.

With the addition of the former Quirk location in Westborough, Mass., Pete’s now has 19 outlets throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire.

“This acquisition improves our ability to provide a complete range of giant tires and industrial tires that Quirk was so well known for,” Gerry explains.

Quirk’s overall entity – VIP, Inc. – has 56 retail auto stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

“It’s a bittersweet day for me today,” says VIP President John Quirk as he reflects upon the sale.

“My grandfather started the commercial tire business 86 years ago in a 1,500-square-foot store in Watertown, Mass., changing customers’ tires curbside,” he recounts. “I have many fond memories working with such great employees and customers, and I loved the commercial business.”

Quirk goes on to note that “our customers will be in great hands with Peter Gerry, and his leadership will help expand product range and services to our loyal customer base.”

The divesture will allow VIP “to make further investments into our auto parts and retail tire and service businesses,” he says.

Founded in 1958 and based in Lewiston, Maine, the original VIP was acquired by the original Quirk Tire in 2001 to become VIP Parts, Tires & Service.

Pete’s was established in 1968 – when Gerry was just 18-years-old – in a small garage in Athol, Mass. Originally selling cars and performance tires under the Pete’s Auto Sales moniker, the company has since expanded its offerings to encompass a full line of tires that includes new and retreaded truck tires, farm/agricultural tires and off-the-road tires.

Currently about 90 percent of the company’s sales revolve around the commercial tire marketplace.

“By aggressively pursuing expansion opportunities, Pete’s has been able to help build its network strength through acquisitions and new store development,” according to Gerry. “This growth has allowed the company to provide customers with top-notch sales and service regardless of where they operate in New England.”

In March Pete’s opened a new outlet in Montpelier, Vt.

Calling itself “one of the greenest tire dealers in the U.S.,” the Pete’s Bandag retreading facility utilizes solar power. Another location has 250 solar panels and geothermal heating.

The company employs more than 200 people and operates a fleet of nearly 100 service and delivery vehicles.

Pete’s is a member of the American Commercial Tire Network (ACTN), which is an alliance of 17 independent commercial tire dealers that have joined together to operate a reciprocal emergency road service network with 1,700 available vehicles throughout 43 states.

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