Stapleton’s exclusive brands maximise buoyant 4×4 sector in otherwise rocky terrain
The largest UK tyre wholesaler, Stapleton’s has long acknowledged the SUV/4×4 sector’s ability to transcend other segments with steady upward performance against a particularly volatile background. While a global rise in raw materials prices and post-referendum inflation are taking a toll on the UK, Stapleton’s notes the internationalism of the industry means the impact will be considerable, because where the car industry goes the tyre industry must inevitably follow. In the first half of this year, new investment in the British car industry dropped from £647 million in the first half of 2017 to £347 million (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), while UK vehicle output plunged by 47 per cent this June, coupled with no increase in new car sales. While this adds up to a rocky road ahead, it is useful to have a tyre segment that appears impervious to such terrain, and – fittingly – the SUV/4×4 tyre segment outlook remains positive, indicated by OEM innovations such as the Volkswagen T-Roc, which aims to bring 4×4 performance to a younger demographic.
“The trend-busting behaviour from the SUV/4×4 market shows exactly how we can anticipate where future demand will come from and provide retailers with the products, promotion and pricing to give them a real competitive edge,” comments Stapleton’s commercial director, Stephen Childs. Stapleton’s embellishes its comprehensive stock of premium brand SUV/4×4 tyres with exclusive brands such as Nexen, Maxxis, Matador, Riken and Roadstone, which aim to deliver quality products at the keenest prices possible.
Nexen has 491 dealers in 141 countries worldwide, making it a globally established brand in its own right, and a wide range of patterns and sizes for almost every 4×4/SUV on the UK’s roads. Porsche’s decision to approve Nexen’s Nfera RU1 as original equipment on the Cayenne and Macan also adds evidence to the quality of the Korean brand’s products in this segment. Available in four diameters (17”, 18”, 19”and 20”), this classic of its kind is designed for supreme comfort with superb grip and braking capability on any surface, wet or dry.
Nexen’s Roadian HTX RH5 Light Highway Terrain SUV/LTR, a relative newcomer to Nexen’s line up, is designed for drivers looking for a tyre ready for trickier terrains, with a multi-sequenced centre and shoulder rib, unique sipes and large shoulder blocks delivering comfort and less noise along with superior durability and tread life.
Maxxis’s 4×4 tyres are inspired by the toughest off-road challenges. The Maxxis Bravo Series HT-770 is an all-season highway-terrain tyre designed through three years’ engineering and research to deliver greater peace of mind during hauling and towing. The Bravo Seriesalso includes the AT-980 high-traction all-terrain tyre, which has a square tread contour design for superior road contact even under heavy loads. Its deep, siped tread blocks and zig-zag tread pattern deliver better off-road grip, self-cleaning and on-road performance. The manufacturer is also an expert in heavy-duty off-road applications, exemplified by the MT-764 Bighorn.
In the quality mid-market, Matador offers the MP82 Conquerra 2 – designed with safety and driver comfort in mind, it delivers excellent handling in all conditions. At the sportier end of the spectrum, the MP47 Hectorra 3’s sporty design is as eye-catching as its handling, shorter braking distances and wet driving safety performance – not to mention an enjoyably quiet ride and increased mileage performance.
Riken celebrated its centenary last year, and the brand offers the 701 range for the summer 4×4 tyre segment in sizes 15”, 16”, 17” and 18”. The range is designed for better water evacuation and a good level of grip in wet and wintry conditions, as well as on dry roads, thanks to high-density sipes and four longitudinal grooves.
Relative newcomer to Stapleton’s, Roadstone has an R&D network in China, Korea, Germany and the US, allowing it to deliver tyres such as the Roadian HP, whose five random pitch array design offer a quiet ride, while its large shoulder block and high-speed directional pattern design promises improved steering, braking and grip in the wet.