Belle Tire History

Belle Tire History
A grand opening ceremony in front of a Belle Tire store is remembered through a black and white photo.

Our Story Our Story

For nearly 100 years, family-owned Belle Tire has been a staple in the communities where it does business throughout Michigan, northern Ohio and Indiana. The tire retailer's more than 127 locations offer the lowest tire prices in the business along with a variety of automotive repair services ranging from auto glass repair and replacement, brakes, alignments, batteries, shocks and struts, exhaust system repair and oil changes.

Company Overview


Belle Tire was founded in 1922 by Sam Waze with the first location on Grand River Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Sam named his business after his wife, Belle.

Sam and Belle's son, Herb Waze, worked with his father and later took over the family business.


In the 1960s, Don Barnes Sr., a Kelly Tire salesman, decided to no longer sell tires to Belle Tire and he partnered with Waze instead. The partnership proved to be successful with several Michigan locations opening over the following two decades including Roseville, West Bloomfield, Troy and Traverse City.

1980s & 1990s

In the 1980s, the Barnes family bought Waze's shares and continued expansion of the business through acquisitions of American Tire, Delta Tire, Great Lakes Tire and Elkin Tire followed by the acquisition of Tireman and Metro 25 in the 1990s.


In 2007, Belle Tire added glass repair to its menu of auto services, eventually becoming the largest windshield replacement and repair company in Michigan.


Belle Tire expanded its retail footprint to Indiana with locations in South Bend, Mishawaka and Elkhart. The expansion, during the summer and fall of 2015, marked an important moment in the company’s history in the tire business. It was the first move into a new community since expanding from Michigan to northern Ohio in the late 1980s. Belle Tire continued their expansion into Fort Wayne and Michigan City shortly after.

Belle Tire's commitment to family and its hometown roots continued to be at the forefront of its business model with the third generation of Barnes playing a pivotal part of the team. In 2015, Don Barnes III was named president of the company.

2018 to present

The company began a large expansion into the Indianapolis region, starting with the opening of a store in Muncie, shortly followed by Kokomo, the 100th store in company history. Belle Tire continued to open more stores in the Indy area, adding six more locations to help serve their neighbors with tire and auto service needs. Continuing their Midwest expansion, Belle Tire added more locations in northern Michigan, Indy, Bloomington, Lafayette, and Terre Haute, bringing their retail store count to 126. Belle Tire has more plans to expand in 2021, creating jobs and bringing the Lowest Tire Price, Period! to more communities.

The company is continuing to expand its unique retail footprint with plans to open more new locations throughout the Midwest.