CAM talks digitisation, self-service, and the pandemic
Digitisation has been an extremely important trend in 2020, to say the least. Due to the restrictions implemented by global governments to combat the spread of Covid-19, the use of technology to perform all sorts of basic business functions has never been as widespread in its usage. While tyre fitting businesses have been spared enforced closure with their rightful designation as an essential service, the implementation of solid digital systems to assist operational and marketing functions has been vital – more so than ever before. Tyres & Accessories used one digital system with which many are now intimately acquainted – Microsoft Teams – to speak to the commercial director of tyre business software systems provider CAM, Steve Daly, about how the company has supported this increased digitisation, as well as the general growth in companies employing CAM’s solutions, such as e-jobsheet and Fitter-Force. This interview is also available as a video to subscribers below.
BTMA welcomes change to tyre labelling enforcement powers
The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association has welcomed new legislation to enforce the tyre labelling regulation from 1 January using civil sanctions. The Department for Transport (DfT) appointed the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Compliance Unit as enforcement authority earlier in 2020, replacing the National Measurement Office. To date, the DfT has conducted 68 “mystery shopper” visits, finding 78 per cent of tyre retailers were not compliant with the requirement to provide the labelling information.
The Launch X431 EURO PRO 5 PLUS is Launch UK’s latest addition to the market, based on the most up-to-date Android OS 9.0. It comes in a robust carry case with all necessary leads and a wide selection of legacy OBD 1 adapters.
PCL has launched the CH3A01 Twin Swivel Clip-on Tyre Valve Connector and CH3A02 Single Swivel Clip-on Tyre Valve Connector. The two new models complement the recently launched CH2 air connectors, which have received excellent feedback since their launch last year and run alongside the popular CO3 range.
National Ambulance fleet tyre analysis shows punctures and sidewall damage the main non-wear change reasons
Throughout 2020 Tyres & Accessories has been analysing the tyre choices of UK emergency services fleets. The series began with an investigation into the National Police fleet’s tyre demands, followed by closer looks at the Kent, Metropolitan and West Midland force fleets. At the start of November, we took a look at some key Fire Brigade fleets. Now it is the turn of the Ambulance service.
Wastefront signs exclusive project delivery partnership with Devaltec
Norwegian waste tyre recycling company, Wastefront AS has entered into an exclusive long-term project delivery partnership with Devaltec LLC. The partnership will commence with Wastefront’s first waste tyre recycling plant in Sunderland, due for completion in 2023. Wastefront had previously secured a 10-year offtake agreement with Devaltec’s liquid offtaker, Vitol for the production of liquid hydrocarbons and certain non-liquid products due to be produced at the Sunderland plant and future plant sites. Devaltec will now be the primary strategic partner to Wastefront, co-leading the development of all upcoming projects for the next five years. It is contracted to deliver production from multiple plants of minimum 1000 MTD.
While the company is best known for supplying and fitting specialist solid tyres, Tyre Boss also sources a wide range of off-highway tyre solution. This includes tyre fill which is said to be “a very popular option for many customers”.
Britishvolt chooses Mira for new global headquarters
Advanced battery technology investor Britishvolt has announced its plans to make the Mira Technology Park Campus near Coventry the home of its 5000sqm global headquarters. The company wants its new HQ to be fully operational by 2022. The news follows the UK government’s decision to bring forward its ban on the production of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Britishvolt said the facility, in the traditional heartland of the country’s automotive industry, will spearhead the development of battery technologies for future electrified vehicles. Britishvolt adds that it wants to expand the site further to “bring highly skilled and specialist jobs to the West Midlands.” The company wants to build the UK’s first battery gigaplant, supporting the vehicle parc’s transition to electric engines. It is targeting the fourth quarter of 2023 to begin production, having signed an MoU with the Welsh government in 2020.
Four out of five consumers changing tyre shopping behaviour
Following what was generally regarded as an insightful presentation on the impact of coronavirus on global, European and UK tyre markets, the panel for our “New Tyres in Corona-World” Virtual Tyre Industry Conference 2020 session (James Ward, senior insight manager, GfK; Andrea Manenti, VP north region, Bridgestone; and Pravesh Amtha, Sales General Manager Consumer UK&I, Goodyear) moved into a discussion relating to how manufacturers are working on creatively supporting the tyre trade in the face of the second lockdown and ongoing pandemic- and economy-related complications.
According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK car manufacturing output fell 18.2 per cent in October. 110,179 units left UK factories during the month, 24,490 fewer cars than were made in October 2019, with the impact of coronavirus and fresh lockdowns at home and overseas subduing demand in many key markets.
While van manufacturers have been both developing their electric portfolios and sustaining a double-digit sales contraction in a pandemic affected market, the picture for van tyre suppliers is certainly not as hostile. As we will see in this feature, the requirements of e-commerce and electric vehicles are providing new impetus to van tyre suppliers in the medium term. But 2020 UK figures generated by market data analyst GfK’s Point of Sales Tracking show that the segment is faring better than many with the travails of this year. At the same time, several trends are coalescing to improve the fortunes of van tyre suppliers.
The National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) has published details of its Autumn 2020 Dealer Attitude Survey (DAS). Paddy O’Connell, Head of the NMDA, revealed that the response rate was the highest ever, at 31 per cent; something that he describes as “very positive” and indicative that a growing number of dealers see the survey as an important and useful channel to provide feedback on the business relationship with their manufacturers.
Analysis of the latest data from the Office of National Statistics by R&D tax relief specialists Catax shows that R&D spending in the UK motor industry has slumped 9 per cent annually. Total motor sector spending on R&D fell to £3.42bn last year, a decrease of £338m from a record high of £3.75bn registered a year earlier. The industry now employs 22,000 people directly involved in R&D, however, the latest spending figure is a dramatic turnaround from the 4.2 per cent increase seen in 2018.
5 November saw the inaugural virtual Tyre Industry Conference, with Tyres & Accessories bringing the traditional annual conference into the virtual arena due to Covid-19 restrictions. Produced in association with the NTDA and supported by Cam Systems, our expert panel was comprised of James Ward, senior insight manager, GfK; Andrea Manenti, VP north region, Bridgestone; and Pravesh Amtha, sales general manager Consumer UK&I, Goodyear. The wide-ranging 45-minute conversation covered a lot of bases, but the first session, which was designed to focus on the new tyre market’s recent trends and statistics began with a presentation from James Ward.
Northern Ireland car dealers facing steep price increase
Over the past weeks, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has written to HMRC and a number of MPs to highlight that under post-Brexit EU VAT rules, the sale price of a significant proportion of used vehicles in Northern Ireland (NI) will be subject to a 20 per cent increase for stock purchased in Great Britain (GB). NFDA has urged HMRC to resolve the issue before the end of the year to avoid a major impact on NI and GB vehicle dealers as well as consumers.