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March 1, 2024

Growing chain VIP Tires & Service expands into Connecticut

File Photo / Courtesy of VIP Tires & Service VIP Tires & Service has a retail store at 138 Center St. in Auburn, shown here, and has now added a branch in Connecticut.

VIP Tires & Service, the Auburn-based automotive services business with 69 branches, now has a 70th.

The company on Friday said it acquired Joe’s Tire Shop in Waterbury, Conn., for an undisclosed price. The shop is VIP's first in Connecticut, the fifth New England state served by VIP. Rhode Island is the only one without a VIP branch.

At Joe's, which has been in operation for more than 95 years, owner Rich DiBeneditto and the entire staff have joined VIP. All operations are continuing, with VIP adding its suite of services and training technicians from other branches to eventually join the team.

“State by state, VIP has become a household name in New England, and we couldn’t be more excited to enter the Connecticut market,” said Tim Winkeler, president and chief executive officer of VIP.

“Honoring the nearly 100-year legacy of Joe’s Tire Shop, VIP looks forward to serving the people of Waterbury and other Connecticut residents, working with the current Joe’s crew to build on customer relationships that have been cultivated for decades.

"Like Joe’s, VIP puts customer service first, and we’re excited for even more New Englanders to find that out for themselves."

VIP Tires & Service is northern New England’s largest privately held automotive service provider and tire dealer. In January, Winkeler told Mainebiz his company's workforce had grown from about 490 in March 2020 to 650.

“We have plans to add to our staff at every location in 2024,” he said, and identified Connecticut as a target market for expansion.

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