VTS Witnessing a Renaissance in British Made Tyre Sales
In these uncertain times when every news bulletin reminds us of the financial difficulty the country is in, it is rare to hear a positive story about British manufacturing.
However, speaking to Tyres & Accessories, Vintage Tyres Supplies (VTS) shared news of the increasing competitiveness of its British made tyres. While most in this close-knit niche familiar with Vintage Tyres’ operation, readers may not be aware that the classic ranges from Dunlop and Avon, (as well as some of VTS’s Waymaster tyres) are still produced in the UK, by the original manufacturers. This has always made these brands the ultimate choice for authenticity and quality, but as the pound weakens on the financial markets, they also become an increasingly attractive prospect in terms of price. As a result of the dramatic differences in exchange rates between the pound, dollar and euro, classic tyre ranges imported from outside the UK have seen massive price increases over the last few months. And this in turn has made the prices of UK produced tyres more attractive domestically than US-imported products, while the relatively strong euro has resulted in increased purchasing interest from the US and the continent. Currently around half of VTS’s total sales are made in the UK with the remainder distributed across various markets abroad.
One market that is growing in importance for the company is France. To put this in perspective, while VTS is said to be UK market leader and sells to disparate markets across Europe (including Scandinavian sales in Sweden) the next largest market after blighty is actually France. Despite the difficult economic climate, according to VTS managing director, Chris Marchant, things have been relatively stable in the vintage tyre segment: “Business has been going on as it was before. We have been gaining a lot of business from the dollar zone because of the exchange rate, with this in mind tyres like Dunlop [for example] are a better deal,” he commented. New 26X3 Ensign brand beaded edge tyres Speaking to Chris Marchant also reveals that there have been developments within the company’s unique product offering. Back in January the company released a new 26X3 tyre for its Engisn branded range of beaded edge tyres. Since their inception, the Ensign line of beaded edge tyres is said to have established themselves as the market leaders for vintage and veteran motorcycles. According to company literature this is because they combine “an attractive period appearance with the performance and cost-effectiveness achievable with modern production techniques.” Recently, however, VTS became aware that certain sizes are also being fitted to light vintage cars. Therefore, in order to provide the best possible product VTS has undertaken a complete overhaul of the range with the aim of improving the finish and up rating performance by increasing the ply content of the tyres. Having completed a stringent testing programme, the new 26×3 Ensign tyres are now in stock.