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VIP Tires & Service Eyes Future Growth in NH

Published Friday Jun 21, 2024

Author Scott Merril

VIP Tires & Service Eyes Future Growth in NH

Maine-based VIP Tires & Service has 21 of its 70 locations in NH (with the others spread throughout Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and most recently, Connecticut) and President and CEO Tim Winkeler says he wants to open more in the Granite State. VIP opened its last NH location in Seabrook in late 2022.

The reinvigoration of VIP is the result of years of rebuilding the brand after the company, which used to be known as VIP Parts, Tires & Service, decided to get out of the parts business. Winkeler, who lately spent more time networking in NH, played a key role in that transition.

Winkeler, an Oklahoman who became president in 2017, was originally hired as VIP’s COO in 2010 when the company was looking for ways to compete with larger auto parts providers. “I knew the secrets of the parts companies,” says Winkeler, who had 20 years of experience in the auto parts business when he joined VIP. “In the auto parts world it’s about inventory and how big you are.”

However, by 2012, VIP decided to get out of the parts business, selling its parts division to O’Reilly Auto Parts, which continues to lease space within VIP’s facilities. “Big companies control the supply chain, and we strategically determined our future by selling off the parts division. We didn’t think we could win a parts battle with the big guys,” Winkeler says.

After a couple of tough rebuilding years, Winkeler says VIP began to reap the benefits of its planning. A big part of this, Winkeler adds, is the company’s commitment to its more than 600 employees and its clients. “My background has always been about relationships with people,” he says, noting that VIP’s Executive Chairman, John Quirk, recognized that and asked him to stay on as COO during the sale to O’Reilly. “From 2013 until 2019, John, myself, and the rest of the team put in a lot of hard work to rebuild VIP into a different business,” he says.

VIP surveys its employees annually to gauge their experience working for the company. Winkeler makes the rounds every January and February to VIP’s locations around New England—providing copies of all survey results to employees—and meeting with managers and technicians. “The best ideas come from people in the stores serving customers every day,” he says. “We realize that if you have the most dedicated people, business flourishes.”

Another important element of VIP’s success, Winkeler says, is giving back to the communities it serves. In 2022 and 2023 the company donated $440,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For more information, visit

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