GB Tyres expands warehousing, adds to PCR tyre sales plus new agri range
From a standing start less than a decade ago, GB Tyres is now aiming to be a key player in the UK wholesale business. When the company’s full-year financial results come in at the end of August, turnover will have reached £53 million. So, in other words, the business is trucking along nicely and making good progress towards its goals. Tyres & Accessories met up with Commercial Director Graham Hutchison and founder Sukhi Singh to visit the company’s Tipton headquarters and relatively new Oldbury wholesale warehouse.
GB Tyres started out as a commercial tyre fitting business before evolving into a tyre wholesale and distribution operation about six years ago. The company’s current head office location in the ex-Corus building in Tipton is actually the firm’s second main location. When the business moved in a few years ago, the plan was to outgrow the facility in around five years. Judging by the speed and scale of GB Tyres’s recent growth as well as the company’s continuing ambitious plans, there is already evidence that those plans are coming to fruition.
And that’s why 14 months ago, GB Tyres acquired the Oldbury warehouse, which is already full of tyres and being upgraded to include tyre conveyancing and modern office space. Since then, GB Tyres has acquired the plot of land next door to the Oldbury warehouse, which gives an indication of how rapidly the company’s expansion plans are progressing.
GB Tyres’ founder Sukhi Singh started in the transport industry, before recognising the opportunities afforded by the tyre industry and starting GB Tyres with just one fitter. It wasn’t long before the company was buying its stock, with the Samson brand produced by Guizhou Advance Tyre amongst the earliest partners.
Around five-and-a-half years ago, Graham Hutchison got involved in the business with the remit of developing the wholesale side of the business. About two years later, the team realised that – while truck tyre sales were good in Scotland and the north-west, they were not so hot in the midlands. At that point, the decision was made to sell the GB Tyres fitting business to Lodge Tyre’s growing retail operation as a means of avoiding any conflict of business priorities between the truck tyre wholesale and truck tyre fitting sides of the trade. Since then, business growth has opened up both in the Midlands and further afield.
It was around that point that GB Tyres moved into the aforementioned ex-Corus building – a location that had been left in a state of disrepair by its previous occupants and which Sukhi Singh and the GB Tyres team have since turned into a thriving and productive tyre wholesaler operation.
So, what’s the secret to GB Tyre’s recent success? “Service level, loyalty and trustworthiness”, Sukhi Singh explained. This comes by virtue of a hand-picked team of experience tyre industry executives. By way of illustration, the team are generally very well experienced, with the average age around 50-something – all supported by excellent value brands and associated product quality. Key brands for GB Tyres include: The India-produced JK Tyres and Challenger at the centre of the portfolio, along with Samson (made in Guizhou/Advance Tyre’s Vietnam factory) as well as Linglong made in the fast-growing Chinese tyremaker’s Serbia factory (supplied by Linglong’s Thailand operation while the Serbia factory gets product volumes up to full speed).
The introduction of an agricultural tyre range in the new year, is next on the agenda. This launch will centre on a particular brand, but the name isn’t being released just yet. Rather, all be revealed during by the first quarter of 2023. What we do know is that the brand will be manufactured in India, a part of the world that has an acknowledged specialism in the agricultural tyre side of things.
Moving forward, GB Tyres is expanding its passenger car tyre offering. And while the company left truck tyre retail/fitting behind several years ago, there is even the suggestion that GB Tyres could open its own passenger car tyre retail centres in the future.
For now, it is clear that the GB Tyres truck tyre wholesale operation is developing further into the commercial and agricultural tyre segments as well as making further forays into the passenger car tyre space.