HiQ On-Track for 175 Branches in 2009
Tyre manufacturers, especially those with large OE commitments, have really felt the pain of recession with most announcing double-digit falls in year-on-year sales for the first quarter of this year. However, the continued development of the revamped HiQ chain exemplifies how the downturn hasn’t been all bad for the wider tyre industry. In fact, in the retail business there are even examples of the ‘down’ market actually helping companies grow. Tyres & Accessories recently met with HiQ retail director Juergen Titz and found out how the network’s expansion plans are progressing.
There are currently 140 HiQ centres across England and Wales, however the plan according to Juergen Titz is to establish 175 by the end of 2009 – and another 100 by 2012. When you consider that HiQ franchised off the 106 formerly Goodyear Dunlop owned sites only last year, clear progress is being made towards the HiQ rapid expansion goals. Despite the fact that Goodyear Dunlop’s decision to run the network as a hard franchise operation represents a significant change in direction for the company, there is real sense of optimism (amongst both managers and franchisees) about the company’s future.