Michelin Wins 2 TAFF Awards for the 2nd Year
For the second year running, Michelin has scooped two NTDA Tyre And Fast Fit (TAFF) awards in one night. Michelin Tyre Plc won both the Tyre Manufacturer of the Year and Industry Advertising Awards. The success follows a strong showing at the 2007 awards when the French manufacturer received the Product Innovation and Industry Advertising awards. The 2008 TAFF awards also saw a return to winning ways for BITS who won Wholesaler of the Year for a record eighth time, including comparable prizes from before the TAFF awards began three years ago.
As the award citation stated, “the Michelin name is recognised across the world, as is its iconic emblem, Bibendum.” When it comes to the UK, the company – uniquely – has three manufacturing facilities and it is a measure of its commitment to the UK that investment in all three sites remains ongoing. The larger a company becomes, the greater is its social and environmental responsibility, and these are areas that Michelin takes very seriously.
Another environmental ‘first’ for Michelin is visible at its plant in Dundee, where giant wind turbines generate electricity to power the factory. On a global scale, the annual “Challenge Bibendum” encourages the development of sustainable mobility and environmental responsibility. Michelin has a proud history in the field of motor sports and this continued with a victory in the Le Mans 24 hours race. Competition is the driving force behind development, the company believes, which is why it did not put its name forward to be the sole tyre supplier for Formula 1.
2008 Industry Advertising Campaign of the year – Michelin
This is the second year running that Michelin has picked up this award, despite some fierce competition. “Bibendum” – the Michelin Man – is over 100 years old and still going strong. The worldwide icon has once again been at the centre of Michelin’s European 2007 advertising campaign. Notably, Bibendum returned to the television screens after an absence of three years in an advert giving a longevity message that a Michelin tyre can last more than once around the world.
New media were also targeted with online campaigns featuring on a range of sites including MSN, Yahoo, AOL, iVillage as well as trade sites such as Autotrader and Pistonheads. These banner and skyscraper ads carried the longevity message, plus a safety theme emphasising the importance of maintaining correct tyre pressure as well as fuel saving & environmental messages. Voted the leading tyre brand on the Internet by Envisional, online advertising is another area in which Michelin is the industry leader.
Wholesaler of the Year – BITS
To win Tyre Wholesaler of the Year once is commendable, but to win it eight times (including the similar preceding equivalents) is simply a fantastic achievement.
Putting the company’s success down to “consistently great service, day in and day out,” BITS managing director Brian Duguid explained: “For over 70 years we have had a service-first policy which means we put great customer care at the centre of everything we do. Our customers clearly appreciate it and we’d like to thank them for voting for B.I.T.S once again.”
This service-first approach may be a simple philosophy, but it’s also a hugely successful one. Since being formed in 1970, the family-owned company has grown into one of the largest independent tyre wholesalers in the country. Its distinctive flame-liveried vans are a regular feature on roads up and down the country, as the company completes its regular daily deliveries from its eight key regional centres, including the newest B.I.T.S centre based in Southampton.
Commenting on the growth of the business, Brian Duguid said: “We’re a people business. We look after our staff, who in turn look after our customers. This allows us to offer a highly personalised service which our customers really value. We get to know our customers’ needs and our dedicated team is always on-hand to help.”
Product innovation award
This year’s Product Innovation gong was won by Goodyear for the company’s Eagle F1 Asymmetric tyre. Goodyear representatives will no-doubt be pleased with the tyre’s performance as the TAFF Award joins the list of silverware the new Eagle tyre has won. Soon after being launched the Eagle F1 Asymmetric was named the best tyre by Evo magazine and was lauded by the Autocar in both its front and rear wheel drive test categories.
“Goodyear is thrilled to win this TAFF award. Already, the Eagle F1 Asymmetric has dominated the Autocar and Evo tyre tests, and it is great to see that the trade agree with the media! ActiveCornerGrip Technology, which maximises the footprint distribution of the Eagle F1 Asymmetric, is the latest in a long line of award winning Goodyear innovations including RunOnFlat, BioTred and HydraGrip.
“The Goodyear Eagle F1 family has won more industry awards and tyre tests than any other tyre. We thank the NTDA members for their nomination and support. It is important that we work with our dealers to communicate to drivers that not all tyres are the same, and recognition from this award will certainly help,” stated James Bailey, Corporate Communications Manager.
The 2008 NTDA TAFF Environment Award was won by Kingpin Tyres. The award was collected on behalf of the company by John Campbell representing last year’s winner, Vellco.
In response to the company’s success, Kingpin representatives told Tyres & Accessories that the company’s management and staff are “honoured to have received the NTDA’S TAFF Award for the Best Environmental Company 2008 and wish to thank all those who contributed to this award.”
With over 35 years in business, Kingpin Tyres is certainly not ‘the new kid on the block’ when it comes to providing environmental and recycling services to the tyre industry. The business commenced operations in 1973 manufacturing passenger and commercial van retreads, whilst also providing the service of collecting used tyres from its customers. At the peak of tyre retreading in the UK, Kingpin supplied in excess of 20,000 retreads per week directly to the domestic market. Today Kingpin is the only remaining UK passenger tyre retreader, supplying a full range of passenger, commercial van, 4×4 and truck retreads nationally and one of the UK’s largest used tyre collection specialists.
In addition to providing retreading services and used tyre collections, Kingpin recognised the need to process scrap tyres in-house at its site in Wem, Shropshire – closing in the recycling process chain. All scrap tyres are processed through the company’s tyre shredding and granulation plant, eliminating the need for further transportation and so improving the company’s carbon footprint. Materials produced on-site include aggregate replacement and rubber granulates for use in the equestrian and leisure industries.
A major contributor to the collection and disposal of tyres in the UK, Kingpin collects and disposes of over 3 million tyres a year. Kingpin is accredited with a full waste management licence and waste carriers licence as well as being fully compliant in its duty of care to the environment.
Tyre & Aftermarket Equipment Supplier of the Year
And lastly, but by no means leastly, for the second consecutive year, the Tyre & Aftermarket Equipment Supplier of the Year award was presented to Apaseal.
The 79th NTDA Annual Dinner and Tyre And Fast Fit (TAFF) were held concurrently at the Hilton Metropole, alongside the Commercial Vehicle Show in the NEC and featured after dinner entertainment from former world snooker champion, John Parrott.
At the end of the evening the NTDA raised around 6000 pounds in a prize draw in aid of the automotive industry benevolent fund, BEN. Approximately 5300 pounds was raised by the initial draw, with a further 650 pounds being added to the total following an impromptu auction after winner Mary Scanlon generously returned her two track-day tickets to the prize fund.