The Sleeping Giant Stirs
The Micheldever wholesale operation has been rapidly growing but until 2001 had been concentrated in the South. However, the desire to replicate the wholesale success achieved in the South had led Tony to search for strategically placed wholesale premises initially in the Midlands and North of England, and when Southam Tyres came on the market in October 2001, Tony beat off competition from UK, European and Far Eastern wholesalers to acquire the Southam business. This immediately provided Micheldever with the UK’s most successful 4×4 tyre distributor and its specialist sales team, plus exclusive distribution rights to BFGoodrich 4×4, General Tire and Roadhog. However, due to virtually zero investment from its previous owners, the Southam warehouse was poorly equipped, lacking adequate storage systems and having an ageing fleet of vehicles.
The Micheldever investment came swiftly, with a new fleet, tyreracking systems and a vastly increased range of stock. The benefits of having the most comprehensive range of car and 4X4 tyres available in the Midlands quickly led to excellent sales results for the previously product starved Southam sales teams.
However, the move that really sent the message out that Micheldever had intentions to become a national player was the announcement of the new Halifax depot. A purpose built warehouse on four floors it will have a capacity for 600,000 tyres. By mid 2003 work was progressing well at Halifax, and finally in Sept 2003 the UK’s largest tyre warehouse commenced deliveries on a phased schedule.
Obviously for Micheldever the main thrust of the business at present is the development of the wholesale division and taking the offer to the trade across the UK. One of the much-vaunted drivers for offering national coverage is the potential to be developed in the franchised dealer network. The opportunity to supply tyres as first fit on fleet cars through the franchised dealers is reportedly enormous.
Tony Todd is adamant that there are two factors to being successful. The first is that you can’t sell it if you haven’t got it; the second is that you can’t do the job unless you have got the right tools and the right people in place.