Founder of American Tire Depot pursues American Dream, growing 21-year old business to 42 locations
SANTA ANA, CA – Ara Tchaghlassian, owner of American Tire Depot, a retail tire sales, installation, and service business based in Riverside, has been selected to receive SBA’s State of California Entrepreneurial Success Award. The award will be presented to Tchaghlassian in recognition of his abilities as a successful entrepreneur. This year the company celebrates more than 21 years in business, having grown from six employees at one location to 42 locations with more than 340 employees across California.
American Tire Depot’s story began in 1991 when Ara Tchaghlassian, Tony Akhian and Vartan formed ATV, Inc. and opened a Discount Tire Center franchise in the city of Santa Fe Springs, CA. Tchaghlassian functioned as the chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer. Under his leadership their location became an immediate success, transforming a low performing company store into one of Discount Tire Center’s most prosperous locations. The company was then encouraged by the franchisor to open a second store and they did so in 1992, in the city of Fullerton. Soon both locations emerged as some of the top performing stores and the owners were considering expanding again.
Tchaghlassian began to realize that with his industry knowledge, established dealer relationships, and business intelligence, ATV could expand under their own name, “American Tire Depot.” Two new locations were opened in 1994 in Orange and Covina. Under the new company, Tchaghlassian believed they should offer exceptional customer service, a knowledgeable staff, low prices, and a wide variety of general car services not offered at other tire stores. Tchaghlassian’s plan paid off and his locations were successful in a short while. American Tire Depot repeated this successful expansion strategy time and time again selecting strategic cities and locations throughout the Greater Los Angeles and Orange County markets that allowed for controlled growth and sustained profitability.
In 2005, Tchaghlassian’s partners left the company making him the sole owner and shareholder. Today there are 42 American Tire Depot locations with stores occupying every major market in Southern California. In the upcoming year, 2 new locations are scheduled into the Northern and Central California markets, making the company one of the leading independent tire companies in the United States.
Taking a small company and turning into a chain with soon to be 44 locations is no small feat, but even Tchaghlassian himself says it wasn’t just his abilities as CEO and Owner that did it. He attributes a portion of his success to the SBA’s continuous help over the years. Time and time again Tchaghlassian has sought the aid of the SBA in order to help him grow the business, receiving more than ten 504 loans over the years. SBA’s 504 program can be used for purchasing commercial real estate and long term equipment with a longer term than conventional loans, offers competitive rates, and allows owner-occupied small businesses to purchase a property with as little as 10% down.
Tchaghlassian, who was nominated for the award by CDC Small Business Finance, will be honored alongside other Small Business Week Awards winners at the 49th Annual Small Business Week Awards Celebration, hosted by the SBA’s Santa Ana District Office on Tuesday June 5, 2012 from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm at the City National Grove of Anaheim. The Small Business Week Awards program formally recognizes the impacts of America’s small business community. For information about the event, please contact Doug Dare at (714) 560-7467. To RSVP, please visit www.49thannualsbwawards.eventbrite.com.