photo - U.S. AutoForce plans to move this distribution center on Newport Road to a newly constructed facility on Zeppelin Road. Image via Google Maps.
U.S. AutoForce plans to move this distribution center on Newport Road to a newly constructed facility on Zeppelin Road. Image via Google Maps. 

A Wisconsin-based tire distributor plans to expand its 5-year-old Colorado Springs distribution center to accommodate strong demand.

U.S. AutoForce occupies two buildings across the street from each other on Newport Road, northeast of Powers and Fountain boulevards; it plans to move to a newly constructed facility on Zeppelin Road, southeast of Powers and Astrozon boulevards.

The existing and future sites are along the South Powers corridor near the Colorado Springs Airport, home to increasing numbers of warehouses, distribution centers and other industrial uses.

"Our business is really good out there," Pat Hietpas, U.S. AutoForce president, said Friday. "We love the Colorado market."

U.S. AutoForce serves a roughly 100-mile area from its Springs tire distribution center, selling tires on a wholesale basis to car dealers, automotive stores and repair shops, Hietpas said.

The company occupies about 70,000 total square feet along Newport, and will increase its operation by 50,000 square feet as it moves into a 131,000-square-foot building to be constructed on Zeppelin by a third-party developer. U.S. AutoForce will relocate to its new facility in January, and add about five employees to its 30-person workforce, Hietpas said.

U.S. AutoForce eventually might occupy more space in the new building if it hasn't been leased to other users, Hietpas said. Or, a future expansion could mean another facility outside the Springs, he added.

"It depends on where the business is," Hietpas said.

U.S. AutoForce is part of U.S. Venture Inc. of Appleton, Wis., whose divisions also distribute oil products, operate service stations and install gas pumps, tanks and other petroleum-related equipment, according to business publican Dun & Bradstreet.

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