General Tire Sales Could Grow 10 per cent in 2007
Distributed exclusively in England, Scotland and Wales by the UK’s leading 4×4 tyre wholesaler (Micheldever/Southam Tyres), the General brand is reportedly the fastest growing 4×4 range in the UK market. According to Alan Baldwin, Micheldever’s sales director and 4×4 specialist, General’s awareness of the market and desire to produce products that consumers want, will result in an increase in market share of about 10 per cent in 2007. General Tire, a wholly owned subsidiary of Continental Tyre AG, is the specialist arm of the well-known German premium tyre manufacturer.
The General range features four key product lines: Grabber AW, Grabber UHP/ HP, Grabber AT2 and Grabber TR. Grabber AW is designed to offer value for money, with OE performance levels in popular volume sizes such as 265/70R16, 255/65R16 and 225/75R15. This tyre is widely used by US vehicle manufacturers.
Grabber UHP is the flagship tyre of the General’s on-road line up. It is a directional ultra high performance road tyre and is made in 39 sizes. According to Alan Baldwin the Grabber UHP offers retailers an “unbeatable combination for both their sales and consumer requirements” by offering a quality product at competitive prices with a range that covers the vast majority of popular 4×4 vehicles. General are also planning new sizes for the Volvo XC 90 and BMW X5.
Grabber AT2 is seen as the jewel in the crown of General’s 4×4 products and Southam Tyres representatives claim it simply has the best range of all terrain sizes available. According to the company, the totally new Grabber AT2 fulfils the requirements of discerning and often technically demanding 4×4 drivers who want a tyre that will do it all, from motorway to a ploughed field.
But Southam Tyre/Micheldever Tyre Services sell much more than just General brand products. In addition they sell all the premium brands you’ve heard of plus a few marques that may be less well known – and they sell a lot of them. In fact Micheldever/Southam distributes approximately 25 per cent of all 4×4 tyres sold in the UK.
With more 4×4 sizes on the market than ever before, independent wholesalers are well placed to support retailers that are running out of storage space. Alan Baldwin summed up his company’s strategy when he said: “We stock everything. Every 4×4 tyre, every application – we have to because the retailers can’t.”
Power to the people
Products aside Southam’s focus on 4×4 specialism is something that sets it apart from other similar operations. Alan Baldwin is proud of what the business has to offer. “People are the key to any business and (sales manager) Dave Dineen and his team are the leading technical team in the 4×4 tyre industry,” he explained. His comments are more than just idle words. Not only does Southam have a staff of 10 4×4 tyre sales specialists on hand to answer any technical queries that may arise, but the team’s expert knowledge is also recognised at both the tyre production and vehicle manufacturer levels. That’s why the likes of Mitsubishi and Range Rover have been known to ask tyre fitment and conversion advice from Southam.
Southam’s sales and technical team is headed up by sales manager Dave Dineen, who has established quite a reputation for himself as well. After starting his career as a tyre fitter for a well-known national retail equity, he has risen up the ranks to the point that he now meets with leading manufacturers to help them specify 4×4 tyres for the UK market. Oh yes, and he also designed the Grabber AT2 in association with product manufacturer Continental. The result is a thoroughly clued up 4×4 team and a fast growing product range.
“We are aiming to give customers the right tyres for the job. And we will recommend (through our dealer network) the best tyre for the job,” Alan Baldwin commented, adding: “The new generation of Grabbers are absolutely superb with their US 4×4 image and heritage, super premium quality and unbeatable value, the 4×4 consumers love them,”
General tyres can be ordered from any one of the Southam/Micheldever’s sales offices for next day or even same day delivery. The company also offers technical support and these calls are handled by the 10 sales specialists in the Southam sales office who have over 25 years experience of 4×4 sector. They also offer a full range of alloy and steel wheels to compliment the 4×4 tyre range.