Andy Fern has joined Kwik-Fit as fleet sales director following an 18-year career with Michelin, most recently as national fleet sales manager. He replaces Peter Lambert who has retired after seven years as Kwik-Fit GB fleet director. Meanwhile, Simon Lucas has been promoted to the new role of customer support director of Kwik Fit GB. This role includes responsibility for Kwik-Fit Mobile, numbering some 200 vehicles, and the management of the company’s Customer Support Centre in Tannochside, Scotland, serving both fleet and retail customers. Both Fern and Lucas will report directly to Kwik-Fit GB managing director Kenji Murai.
The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust has fit Michelin’s CrossClimate+ to its 160-strong rapid response paramedic fleet of Škoda Octavias and Volkswagen Passats. The tyre is designed to match high performance summer competitors, but with winter capabilities, enhancing safety, longevity and durability.
McGill’s Buses has signed a five-year extension to its Michelin solutions tyre management programme. The fleet operator said Michelin solutions’ “fantastic support” was a key factor in its decision to renew. The Effitires contract covers the operator’s 400-plus single and double-decker buses, and will see Michelin solutions supply, fit and service the operator’s Michelin tyres.
Michelin reports having met its financial objectives in 2016 and its chief executive officer considers the year “a successful milestone in our strategic roadmap.” The tyre maker’s sales volumes increased 2.1 per cent during the year, outperforming the market, and an increase in operating and net income was also recorded.
Both civilian and military users are considered target customers for the latest Michelin tyre, the off-road, run-flat X Force ZL. Produced in size 335/80R20, the tyre is commercially available from mid-February 2017.
FactoLab is the name given to a new public-private laboratory that Michelin has jointly set up with three research laboratories from Université Clermont Auvergne in France. The tyre maker officially inaugurated FactoLab together with representatives from the Institut Pascal, Lapsco and Limos on 10 February.
The replacement of Michelin’s most popular heavy truck tyre range with a new generation of tyre will get under way at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show. The Birmingham-based road transport fair will play host to the international debut of the all-new Michelin X Multi, a range that is said to deliver 15 to 20 per cent more mileage than the current X MultiWay 3D series.
A premium-price timeslot during yesterday’s Super Bowl marked “an important change” in Michelin’s marketing strategy. The 30-second advertisement – the first Michelin advertising appearance during a Super Bowl game – was the debut of a new global campaign.
Raw material costs for tyre makers are going up, and Michelin is the latest manufacturer to respond by announcing price increases for the European market. Prices will rise by up to eight per cent, depending on product, and will be applied to Michelin’s car, light commercial, truck, earthmover, agricultural and two-wheel segments. The new pricing will be implemented by the end of April.
Michelin has designated mytyres.co.uk as a “Michelin Approved Website”. By doing so, Michelin confirms that mytyres.co.uk meets all the quality standards established by the tyre manufacturer for products, services, and the sale of its tyres. The seal is awarded by TÜV Rheinland on the basis of an annual test.
Mike Lawton has been appointed head of communications for Europe North at Michelin Tyre. Lawton joined Michelin as UK customer services manager in 1999 after stints at ceramics giant Wedgwood and fashion brand Austin Reed. For the last five years, he has been commercial director for Michelin Tyre’s agriculture and construction division, a position which was been taken up by Martyn Pointer.
With the acquisition of all outstanding shares in the publishing businesses of French travel guide specialist Mondéos, Michelin believes it has “reaffirmed its leadership and strengthened its presence” in the travel guide market. Michelin has not disclosed the price it paid for the shareholding in publisher of the Balado and Mondéos guides.
A Michelin Tweel airless radial tyre-wheel combination is now available for golf buggies, initially in North American markets. Michelin North America has announced the launch of the Michelin X Tweel Turf, a replacement for the standard 18X8.5N10 front and rear golf buggy fitment. The X Tweel Turf has a maximum speed of 25 mph and a maximum load of 705 pounds/320 kilogrammes.
Following Michelin’s placement on 5 January of US$500 million non-dilutive cash-settled convertible bonds due 2022, the initial conversion price of the bonds has been set at €133.9748. The initial conversion price represents a premium of 28 per cent over the share reference price for the Michelin share of €104.6678. Settlement and delivery of the bonds took place on 10 January 2017.