An iconic tire and automotive service retailer, wholesaler and commercial dealer will transition ownership of Free Service Tire Company to Monro, the nation’s largest independently owned and operated auto service chain. While the ownership will change, the legendary brand name and its workforce will remain the same.
Lewis P. Wexler Jr., President of Free Service Tire Company, Inc., a Johnson City-based business with retail, commercial, and wholesale tire locations in three states, announced today that the company has reached an agreement to sell Free Service to Monro, Inc.
Wexler said, “We have been approached by many companies over the years, but it wasn’t until Monro came along that we found the right fit for our customers, our employees and our company. Monro has a tradition and business model much like ours. My grandfather started our company based on outstanding customer service. I am convinced that this tradition will continue under Monro’s ownership.” The sale comes just a little more than a year before the 100th anniversary of the company.
Wexler says that Monro’s reputation for customer service and offer to retain more than 95 percent of the current employees were deciding factors in making the decision to sell the company. Monro will maintain the current Free Service Tire brands and maintain operations at the company’s current locations.
Wexler, who is a third-generation leader of the company, expressed appreciation on behalf of the Wexler family to its regional customers: “It has been a privilege for us to serve our customers for almost 100 years, and we appreciate the many relationships that we have enjoyed. We couldn’t have been successful within the competitive tire and auto service business without our dedicated and skilled workforce. We salute them for their hard work and commitment.”
The company operates 10 retail tire and service centers in Tennessee along with two commercial service centers and two tire retreading centers as well as four wholesale tire distribution centers in Tennessee and in Roanoke, Virginia, and Asheville, North Carolina.
“We are confident that Free Service’s second century will be led by folks who offer the best tires and professional, courteous service,” Wexler concludes. The details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
With more than 1,200 retail and commercial centers in 27 states, Monro operates under a variety of auto service and retail tire brands nationwide. In 2017, Monro reported net sales of more than $1 billion. Recently celebrating Monro’s 60th anniversary, the company went public in 1991.