Wingfooted Pilot to Take Off

Goodyear division to operate Truck Care Centers

AKRON, Ohio -- Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems LLC is assuming operation of eight Pilot Travel Center Truck Care Centers in five states. Though operated by Wingfoot, a wholly owned subsidiary of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. with 171 commercial tire sales, service and retread facilities nationwide, the Truck Care Centers will retain the Pilot name upon initiation.

Steve McClellan, vice president of Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems, said the agreement is significant for both Goodyear and Pilot. Goodyear greatly expands its truck service network, and [image-nocss] Pilot instantly becomes a one-stop shopping experience for drivers of commercial trucks.

Pilot Travel Centers, the nation's largest retail operator of travel centers, operates 271 travel centers in 40 states and licenses 13 locations throughout Kansas, Montana, Iowa and Nebraska.

Pilot Truck Care Centers are currently in eight locations. Pilot and Wingfoot hope to expand by the end of 2005. The company further expects to fill in with service locations as Pilot continues its rapid growth plans, McClellan said.

The Goodyear-operated Pilot truck centers will provide trucking fleets with new tires, retreads, limited mechanical service, preventive maintenance and roadside assistance combined with an on-highway presence.

Pilot Truck Care Centers support our truck-tire customers and their request for an on-highway presence, said McClellan. Because we maintain a large strategic national account base, it was important to bring our cradle-to-grave services closer to where they're needed. This move is customer driven, a one-stop shop for fuel, food, showers and now tires, service and preventive maintenance.

Pilot Travel Centers is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. The travel centers are owned by Pilot Corp., based in Knoxville, and Marathon Ashland Petroleum of Findlay, Ohio. Goodyear, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, manufactures tires and engineered rubber products and chemicals in 28 countries.

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