Les Schwab (Main website link) tires are solely produced by the private company Les Schwab Tire Centers. Founded in the year 1952 in Oregon, the company owns the 3rd largest independent tire chain in the USA. In 2020, Les Schwab Tire Centers was sold to Meritage Group LP.
Despite the change in ownership, the brand is continuously being expanded and it owns about 444 outlets and 54 member-dealer stores. Les Schwab is popular for its reasonably priced tires and other automobile parts such as shocks and brakes.
If you want to learn more about who makes Les Schwab tires and what’s the history of the brand, we’re here to provide answers. So, without further ado, let’s get right in.
About Les Schwab – The Man Behind Les Schwab Tire Centers
As it’s reflected in its name, the brand Les Schwab was founded by Leslie Bishop Schwab. Born in 1917 in Prineville, Oregon, he was orphaned at the age of 15. Before getting into business in 1952, he served in the USA army during the second world war.
Leslie and his wife Dorothy sold their house to purchase a franchised tire shop named OK Rubber Welders. Despite having minimum knowledge and experience in the tire business, the store grossed about $10,000 within a month. At the end of the year, the sales reached $150,000.
After this, there was no looking back for Leslie Schwab. He acquired three tire stores by the year 1955. His success was towered with his inventive ideas like the ‘supermarket tire concept’. He turned his warehouse into a showroom so that the customers could select and inspect their preferred tire before paying for it.
Due to his hard work, dedication, and shrewd business strategies, the sales volume of Les Schwab Tires was redoubled every 5 years. In 2000, the Modern Tire Dealers (MTD) magazine recognized Leslie Schwab as the ‘Tire Dealer of the Year’. The man died in 2007 at the age of 89.
Where Are Les Schwab Tires Made?
The brand was initially operated from a storehouse in Prineville, Oregon, USA. Since it’s a USA-based company, Les Schwab tires are manufactured and stored in different tire plants and storehouses located in different regions of the United States.
Les Schwab Tires includes more than 330 locations throughout Oregon, Idaho Washington, Montana, California, Utah, Nevada, and Alaska. However, a vast majority of its annual sales come from many private brands of tires. Most of them are located in China while some are from Mexico and other Asian and western countries.
How Les Schwab Set Off Its Journey?
In 1952 when Leslie Schwab brought the tire shop Ok Rubber Welders. He continued selling tires as the profits were towering, thanks to the low competition and innovative ideas of Leslie.
What started as a two-man business store in a small town, has now reached about 444 outlets with more than 10,000 loyal employees. The company moved its corporate headquarters from Prineville to Bend in a 120,000-square-foot headquarter worth $33 million in 2008. As of now, an investment fund (California-based) called Meritage Group is the owner of Les Schwab tire brand.
History of Les Schwab Tires
- Established in 1952 by Leslie Schwab and was being operated as OK Rubber Welders in Prineville, Oregon.
- The first profit-share program of Les Schwab started with the store manager of OK Rubber Welders’ Redmond branch in 1954.
- By 1955, the company had 4 additional stores including two new ones in central and eastern Oregon.
- In 1966, Leslie dropped the OK Rubber Welders franchise and started operating as an independent tire business by the name ‘Les Schwab Tire Center’. He also created the famous yellow and red brand logo.
- Leslie Schwab owned 35 tire centers by the year 1972.
- In 1982, all individual retail stores were computerized.
- Les Schwab corporate headquarters were moved to Bend in 2008.
- In 2006, Les Schwab was sued by the EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for gender-based job discrimination. The case was finally settled in 2010.
- In 2012, the company established 5 new stores in Denver metropolitan area. The total number of stores reached 374 with these new outlets.
- Les Schwab was sold to Meritage Group LP in 2020.
How Les Schwab Was Sold to California-Based Investment Fund, Meritage Group?
Although Leslie Schwab wanted to hand over his business to the next generation, both his children died before him. As a result, things didn’t go as his plans. After his death, some of his grandchildren were on the company’s board. However, none of them hold any executive positions and all his heirs lived outside the town.
It’s not clear why the company was up for sale in 2020, but we would assume the lack of leadership and the losses due to Covid might be the reason. Les Schwab was up for sale for $3 billion and Meritage Group LP grabbed the chance to own this well-established 68 years old business.
How Meritage Group is Taking Care of Les Schwab?
Instead of making drastic changes, Meritage Group decided to expand the brand, Les Schwab. After its acquisition, Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc. has established three new stores including-
- One in Arvada; established in late October 2020.
- One in Klamath Falls; established in November 2020.
- One in Fresno; established in late December 2020.
According to the official statements, Meritage Group takes Les Schwab as an excellent investment due to its brand reputation, exceptional employees, and great customer responses. So, we would expect that the brand will continue growing under the ownership of Meritage Group LP.
6 common reasons Why Are Les Schwab Tires Considered a Good Brand
Les Schwab tires are often regarded as the best in the United States. Reasons to purchase them are as follows:
The manufacturer only uses first-rate materials in the manufacturing process, so the tires are built to last for a very long time.
These tires are built to last. They are more durable than others and may be used anywhere, from city streets to bumpy country roads. Moreover, tread replacement is not a common occurrence. Therefore, care is rather simple.
Les Schwab tires have an excellent reputation for longevity. Les Schwab tires are durable on both paved and unpaved surfaces. Compare this to comparable tires, and you’ll see that the treads last a lot longer.
When it comes to overall performance, Les Schwab tires are among the best on the market. They execute admirably in and out of the spotlight. The tires’ manageability and traction are two of their main selling points.
Les Schwab tires have a distinct and practical design. They have a perfect weight distribution, which makes them exceptionally gripping and traction.
Les Schwab offers unparalleled customer support after a purchase is made. In the course of the tire’s guaranteed service time, they will provide you with no-cost maintenance and repair.
What’s more, the United States is home to more than 4,000 tire shops, all of which are there to answer any questions you might have. More information is provided in the following subsection.
#6- Safe and Quiet Ride
Tires made by Les Schwab provide a smooth, quiet ride ideal for commuting and touring urban areas. New car buyers in particular tend to be extremely happy with their purchases. Almost as smooth as riding in a premium automobile.
Are Les Schwab Tires Reliable?
Les Schwab sells a large collection of winter tires, sports vehicle tires, off-road and mud tires, and all-season tires. Their vast selection and knowledgeable staff will carefully care for your automobile.
Les Schwab’s dedication to its clients is unparalleled in the industry. Customers who frequently purchase tires from Les Schwab attest to the company’s excellent service. Workers, there are always willing to assist customers in need of tires.
What Are The Best Les SchwabTires?
Les Schwab offers a wide selection of tire models. There are specialized tires for various climates, roadways, and vehicles. Only two of them are here:
- Les Schwab’s Reputation Tires
Les Schwab’s Reputation Tires are the best of the best because they have a long tread life, great traction, and responsive handling. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is; these tires will function admirably. It quickly became the company’s best-selling product.
- Les Schwab Extreme Contact Sport
Tires with the Les Schwab Extreme Contact Sport model are renowned for their precise handling. The tires have great traction on any terrain. The vast majority of these tires are ultra-high-performance models boasting exceptional durability and handling in a wide range of weather and terrain conditions.
You may ride in comfort and safety on them no matter the weather. Neither the price nor the quality is very low.
Vehicles Compatible With Les Schwab
No matter what type of vehicle you ride, there’s a high chance Les Schwab will have a compatible tire for your vehicle. Les Schwab tire line includes a wide range of tires suitable for:
- Passenger cars
- CUVs and SUVs
- Skid steers
- Mining trucks
- Agricultural and industrial tracked vehicles
- Haul trucks
- Warehouse dollies
what brands/types of tires does les schwab sell?
Les Schwab offers a diverse tire line depending on the weather conditions and terrains. Here are the different types of Les Schwab tires-
- All-Season Tires
Designed to perform well on dry roads, muddy terrains, and snow, all-season tires are most suitable for day-to-day rides.
- All-Terrain Tires
Whether you like smooth roads or ride regularly on rough trails, all-terrain tires can handle it all.
- Summer Tires
Les Schwab summer tires offer great handling on both dry and wet roads during the summer.
These tires offer great power while you’re on unsteady muddy terrains. MT tires strongly grip the surface helping you have better control over the vehicle.
- Winter/Snow Tires
With greater traction, skid control, and impressive tread design, winter tires can handle the toughest snowy roads.
- Run-Flat Tires
With run-flat technology, these types of tires are designed for vehicles without a spare. Run-flat tires will keep you safe on roads and ensure great performance while driving.
- Off-Road Tires
Love to explore rocky, hilly, and rough terrains? The off-road tires of Les Schwab will peak your off-road experience with their special tread design and high-quality materials.
- Performance Tires
These tires are designed to deliver the smoothest and safest performance. Performance tires offer improved braking, crisp cornering, and greater stability at high speeds.
- Highway Tires
With high load capacity and strong build material, highway tires are for heavy-duty SUVs and trucks.
Good And Downsides Of Les SchwabTires
I’ll quickly go through some of the benefits and drawbacks of Mohave tires now. Let’s have a look.
- The company’s high-quality materials make the tires last for years.
- They have excellent grip and traction due to their balance.
- Customer service is available at over 4,000 US tire centers.
- After 25% tread wear, the firm will replace your tires.
- Tires are expensive.
- Les Schwab tires are hard to get outside the US.
Can You Think of Any Acceptable Substitutes?
Several other tire manufacturers offer alternatives to Les Schwab. We’ll investigate a selection of them:
Michelin is among the world’s top five tire manufacturers in terms of sales. The tires are a product of meticulous engineering.
Goodyear tires are recognized worldwide and are considered industry leaders. The design of these tires is likewise top-notch, and they offer very good handling.
The Japanese corporation employs cutting-edge technology in its tire production, increasing the level of competitiveness in the market. They were the market leaders because of their superior stability and grip.
The tires made by Cooper, a company, are likewise of high quality. Tires for every make and model of vehicle are readily accessible. These tires are sturdy and durable.
What Do You Need To Consider In Choosing Les Schwab Tires?
Before buying Les Schwab tires, consider these factors.
This is crucial when selecting car tires. The correct tires for a 4-door sedan may look like those on other cars, but every car has manufacturer tire recommendations. These include load capacity, traction, speed, and more.
Comfort, silence, or both
Narrower tires and shorter tread blocks reduce noise. Quiet Tires? These features have more. To reduce road noise, choose specifically designed tires.
Save money or not
Fuel-efficient tires exist. These tires cost extra, but depending on how you drive, they could save you money at the pump.
Buying tires with a long tread life and low cost per mile is a surefire method to save money. You save more by delaying replacement. Finally, regular touring tires can save you money now.
Performance or longevity
Tire type determines tread life. All-season tires frequently last longer than ultra-high-performance tires meant to hug the road and improve cornering and straightaways.
frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1. Are Les Schwab tires good for snow?
Yes, according to the customer reviews, Les Schwab tires are pretty good for driving on snow. You should choose the Winter/Snow tires if the temperature in your area drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.
The experts at Les Schwab have tested the tires for snow and ice.
What makes them so special is the deeper and wider tire tread that picks up snow and offers higher traction. The rubber material of the tire is also soft and flexible to offer better handling and skid control on the snow.
2. What are the best tires from Les Schwab?
Les Schwab’s all-season and performance tire lines are the best from the brand. The Reputation all-season tires are among the best ones for their all-around great performance on the road.
It not only handles both dry and wet terrain but also ensures a quiet and comfortable ride and durable tread life. Similarly, Les Schwab’s high-performance sport tires like the Hypertrac and UltracVorti+ are best for offering great stability at the highest speeds. The high and shallow grooves of these tires increase the contact between the tire and the road to ensure higher traction and safer rides.
3. What can be the alternative to Les Schwab tires?
Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, Yokohama, and Cooper are the best alternatives to Les Schwab tires. Michelin is the Golden Wrench winner tire brand that has been ranked at the top for several years now.
Continental makes great passenger tires whereas Cooper is famous for its reasonable pricing and off-road tires.
Are Les Schwab tires made in China?
China is where a lot of Les Schwab tires are made. Most of these tires have their own brand names.
What kinds of vehicles can use the tires?
They can be used with any kind of vehicle. Les Schwab sells tires for CUV/SUVs, trailers, recreational vehicles (RVs), and light trucks.
Does Les Schwab sell tires for all kinds of weather?
Yes. It has tires for both summer and winter. It also has tires that can be used in any weather or season
So, now you know who makes Les Schwab tires and what’s the history of the brand. As of 2023, we can say Meritage Group LP manufactures Les Schwab tires as the company owns the brand.
However, we must give credit to Leslie Schwab who founded the brand and made it famous all across the world. If you want more info about the brand and its tires, visit the Les Schwab official website.
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Certification: BSc in Mechanical Engineering
Education: Mechanical engineer
Lives In: 539 W Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75208, USA
Rasel is an auto mechanic student and writer with over half a decade of experience in the automotive field. He has worked with top automotive brands such as Lexus, Quantum, and also owns two automotive blogs autocarneed.com and taxiwiz.com.