Raising the profile of Truck Point
Taking the wider view of the picture, trucking is now, for most medium to large operators, an operation that requires a varying degree of international transportation. That exposes drivers to conditions in foreign markets that they are not ideally equipped to handle. European service is notoriously poor, and equally notoriously expensive. All fleet operators agree that any international operations require international breakdown recovery cover. This causes difficulties for all manufacturers, with limited coverage in Europe. Bridgestone have solved this through a pan-European network of independent dealers operating under the Truck Point banner.
Truck Point has some 220 independent commercial tyre specialist outlets in the UK and a total in excess of 1,600 across Europe. The operation covers most of Western Europe and Scandinavia and is now expanding eastward into Poland and Hungary and other states as the demand for the service expands.
Bridgestone Europe has recognised the need to build a strong Truck Point network, and has recognised an urgent requirement to develop brand awareness of Truck Point across Europe. In light of this the company has launched a multi-million pound UK campaign to increase Truck Point awareness in the tyre trade and in the fleet sector. This is supplemented by an advertising campaign across Europe. Roger Moulding Marketing manager for commercial products at Bridgestone UK, told T&A, “We need to tell people what Truck Point is about and the changes we are making to the programme.
The Truck Point awareness campaign comes at a time when the competition in the truck tyre sector is heating up. There are opportunities being created in the UK by the divesting of commercial services by Continental, There are changes afoot at ATS Euromaster and the Goodyear situation, perhaps unfairly, casts a shadow over Hi-Q – though Goodyear is far from being bowed and the trade can expect developments in that area shortly. However, for the independent commercial tyre specialist there is really only one possible route forwards in dealing with the fleet market, and that, in the UK certainly, has to be Truck Point.