More than 200 UK motorists have declared Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ the best driving anthem of all time, a HiQ survey has revealed. The fast fit network commissioned a survey to discover which track is the most enjoyable to listen to in the car, and the American rocker made a surprise entry at number one. The top five showed the British public is unafraid of flamboyance, with Frankie Goes to Hollywood (Two Tribes) second and Queen (One Vision) third. More laddish rockers Stereophonics finished fourth (Bartender and the Thief) and the Manic Street Preachers came fifth (‘Design for Life’).
Micheldever Tyre and Auto Services has signed-up to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair. The company, which sells about six million tyres a year, has subscribed its 50 ‘Protyre’-branded outlets to the Code aiming to enhance the company’s profile and reach while reinforcing its high customer service standards.
“The decision to subscribe to the Service and Repair Code was taken after extensive research into both our customers’ requirements and the need for the whole industry to raise its standards,” said Simon Hiorns, retail director at Micheldever. “We recognise that in many cases the motor industry needs to build trust with its customers, as over the years, this has been eroded by ‘cowboy traders’. Protyre has built a reputation for providing exceptional service, something that Motor Codes allows us to promote to our customers.
Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has posted net income of 1.6 billion yen (£11.775 million; 14.160 million euros; US$18.455 million) in the first quarter compared with a net loss of 1.8 billion yen in the same period of the previous fiscal year. That result is for the three months from April to June, the first quarter of the company’s fiscal 2011 (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011). Yokohama's net sales climbed 23.4 per cent over the same quarter of the previous fiscal year, to 117.4 billion yen.
Goodyear has experienced a reasonable second quarter of this financial year in the Europe, Middle East and Africa segment, where second quarter sales increased 5 per cent to $1.5 billion. This was primarily due to a 6 per cent increase in tyre unit volume and strong price/mix performance, according to the company. In worldwide results, the company’s sales were $4.5 billion, up 15 per cent from 2009. Second quarter sales reflect the $304 million impact of a 10 per cent increase in tyre unit volume in response to improved global demand.
Wegmann Automotive, the worldwide market leader in balance weights will be presenting the innovations relating to the question of “The Importance of Balancing?” at its Brityrex stand (36B). With the firm’s well known Hofmann Power Weight range being used as the optimum example. Information on show is to include: The results of an extensive series of tests on the benefits of balance weights will be presented at the trade show; a video demonstrating the immediate effects of imbalance on a vehicle safety, comfort and wear consequences; a counter display specially developed for workshops to communicate the “Importance of Balancing” question more clearly to drivers.
Kwik-Fit has named Peter Lambert as its new sales director for Kwik Fit Fleet. Effective 2 August, Lambert replace Mike Wise who has decided to “explore other opportunities.” Reporting directly to Kwik-Fit Group Chief Executive Ian Fraser, the focus of the role will reportedly be to build on Kwik-Fit Fleet’s traditional tyre business through further expanding its Service, MOT and repair sales, reflecting the strategy that has been successfully rolled out within its retail operation.
Peter Lambert has 25 years experience in the UK motor industry and during this time he has held a variety of roles with Ford, Toyota and DaimlerChrysler. At DaimlerChrysler he was sales and marketing director for Mercedes-Benz Vans and managing director of Chrysler UK. More recently he was managing director for Rossetts Commercials, the Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle dealer for Sussex and Surrey.
Beissbarth GmbH, a Bosch Group company, has announced plans to present its “New Generation of wheel service equipment,” at Brityrex in October. The company, which reports that “three out of four [tyre] retails choose Beissbarth” says it technical sales team will be available to answer questions and give demonstrations on tyre changers, wheel balancers and aligners as well as the new A/Ccellence air conditioning service units.
Financial analysts have described Pirelli Spa’s second quarter 2010 results as a “symbolic quarter” after the group, led by its tyre sales, posted results roughly 20 per cent ahead of analysts expectations and unexpectedly increased its 2010 earnings targets. The group increased its sales targets to 4.8 – 4.9 billion euros (from 4.6-4.7 billion) and is targeting EBIT margins 7 per cent versus 6.5 per cent previously.
Less than a year after taking on the role of Kumho Asiana Group chairman, Park Chan Bup is said to be stepping down due to health reasons. Bloomberg reports that 65-year old Park will become an adviser to the Asiana Airlines business unit upon leaving his current position on July 31. Bloomberg says an e-mailed statement from Kumho Asiana advises that a replacement for Mr. Park has not yet been selected.
Figures released by Pirelli and Michelin show growth in on-road tyre markets across all global regions during June 2010. The Italian and French tyre makers respectively estimated growth in Europe’s OE passenger car tyre market to be nine per cent and 8.9 per cent during the month, with year to date growth in this segment given as 22 per cent and 25.2 per cent. For the European replacement segment, Pirelli and Michelin report June market growth to have been 11 per cent and 9.8 per cent respectively, with year to date growth figures exactly the same for both companies. Within Europe the OE truck tyre market is estimated by Pirelli to have grown 69 per cent year-on-year in June, while Michelin logs a 74.7 per cent growth for the month. Year to date growth is given as 30 per cent and 28.7 per cent. According to Pirelli European replacement market truck tyre sales grew 20 per cent in June, with Michelin providing a very similar figure of 19.7 per cent. Year to date, Pirelli and Michelin estimate growth in this segment to be 27 per cent and 28.7 per cent respectively.
Pirelli Spa has reported that the firm closed the first half of 2010 with revenues of 2,426.5 million euros (1H 2009: 2,026.2 million euros), up 19.8 per cent. Pre-tax profits (EBIT) grew 62.8 per cent to 193.4 million euros (2009: 118.8 million euros). Net income of continuing operations more than doubled to 80.8 million euros, compared with 30.3 million euros in the first half of 2009. Such was the success of the tyre business in the first half, the company raised its revenue target. Executives now expect revenues to rise 15 per cent organically compared with the target of more than 10 per cent organic growth estimated in May. Pirelli also announced that it will present its new 2011-2013 three-year plan to the financial community in November.
In this final category only two companies – Credential Environmental and DME Tyres – survive from last year's finalists and they are joined by previous winners Kingpin Tyres, Envirotyre and Hardings Vans, a company providing a localised service. I said final category, however, it is worth noting that the NTDA's "Innovation Award" will be presented on awards night too. But seeing as the nominations for this haven't been published yet, the Environment Awards counts for the last category in our coverage. Click more for the nominations.
This category reminds us that it is not all about round, black, rubbery objects; tyre shops need the consumables, tools and machinery to demount, repair, balance and align wheels and tyres. Three of last year's nominees have made it again – Apaseal, Auto4 and Rema Tip Top – and are joined by Harvie Tyres and Pro-Align, who won last year's Innovation Award.
It seems logical that the bigger companies have more money to spend on advertising and indeed, four of the finalists are from the top six tyre manufacturers. They are joined this year by a new name – Maxxis International – who have been very active on the marketing front. Without any further ado, here are the nominations: