Gripen Wheels Opens UK Warehouse
Swedish commercial vehicle tyre wholesale specialist, Gripen Wheels, is now well and truly up and running in the UK. Tyres & Accessories met up with UK director, Ray Coulson, during the Essen show and found out how business is progressing.
Ray Coulson joined Gripen Wheels in October 2007 after 23 years of experience in the industry, and most recently selling truck tyres. Speaking with Coulson, revealed that the Gripen group is growing rapid, with branches opening across Europe. Coulson’s appointment was the first step in starting a UK division. The next was opening an office in Cambridge, which has been swiftly followed by the procurement of warehousing space in Immingham, near Hull in Yorkshire.
According to Coulson, the current warehousing facility has room to stock more than a 1000 off-the-road tyres at any given time, which are reportedly mainly Hilo and Triangle branded products. Feedback on these Chinese produced tyres is said to be good with customers recommending them to one another. In addition, the company reports that it has just secured a contract with an unnamed large distributor. “This shows that this is a progressive company. Demand [like this] will develop and dictate the scale of development,” Caulson commented. As a result, Gripen UK is in the process of appointing two new sales staff to cover the North and South regions respectively.
Following the publication of the company’s first price list in 2007, Gripen representatives were publicising the current second edition during the show week. The company offers a wide range of products (including: Hilo, Triangle, Marangoni, Schlekmann, Rodos, Simex and United brand tyres) – in addition to a large stock of rims for OTR vehicles such as earthmovers and those used in mining operations. As a group, the company claims to have the largest OTR tyre warehouse capacity in Europe with most tyres in stock for immediate delivery.
At the moment, the company’s truck tyre offering is dominated by Triangle tyres, but the word is that company is looking to take on another brand. In the medium to long term, Gripen is aiming to offer a complete (budget/middle/premium) portfolio. As a group Gripen is aiming for about 100 million euros of turnover in 2008. The UK branch is also said to have its own “ambitious sales target.”