Yeah they are now popular here in TN too Clifford.
One of the guys I know that runs an independent tire/service truck told me that he will sell what ever tire you want provided he can get it from one of several distributors he deals with. But that most of the time the distributors will push a certain brand at a super good price or a monthly, 1/4 or even annual rebate system and that is how they come to sell mostly that brand.
FWIW he is the same guy that had me hooked on Kumho's, & then turned me on directly to his distribution warehouse.
But now he's pushing the Hankooks and said for every 10 he sells he gets a credit for 2 and receives it once a 1/4 by check or can take it off his invoice. (he only does commercial truck tires)
Another friend that owns a small home town tire shop also told me his distributor makes it hard for him not to push the Hankooks as he gets 1 free for every 3 he buys right of the invoice at time of delivery.