Autocentres continue to drive Halfords sales post National Tyres purchase
Halfords Group plc has reported strong group sales up 10.4 per cent like-for-like over two years driven by “an outstanding Autocentres performance through the third quarter 2021 MOT peak.” Indeed, ‘Motoring services’ now account for 70 per cent of sales due to the combination of Autocentres growth and the recent National Tyres purchase. Not only do these movements reflect Halfords’ efforts to lead the tyre retail/motoring services market, but represent steps towards the creation of motoring retail “fusion towns.
Kwik-Fit owner ETEL set for FY22 break-even after FY21 loss
Itochu’s European Tyre Enterprises Ltd (ETEL) business, which owns Kwik-Fit, Stapleton’s and now Murfitts Industries, posted a loss of 3.6 billion yen (£22.97 million; 27.54 million euros; US$31.55 million) for the financial year ended 31 March 2021. According to Itochu’s annual report, which was published on 17 December 2021, ETEL will return to break-even in full-year 2022 results.
BM Catalysts, which makes catalytic converters, DPFs and front pipes reports that it has “further boosted its capacity to supply products throughout Europe in order to meet ongoing demand” The company is currently exporting to more than 35 countries worldwide.
Motorcycle dealers optimistic after good 2021 figures
“With 2021 plagued by Covid-related lockdowns, staffing issues and restricted supply, we should nonetheless enter 2022 with optimism after a 9.3 per cent increase in Power Two Wheeler (PTW) registrations compared to 2020”, said Paddy O’Connell, head of National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) which represents PTW dealers in the UK, commenting on the latest MCIA statistics.
Conti closes inaugural Extreme E season in exciting Dorset finale
Arriving at Bovington Camp, a military base in Dorset, for the finale of the inaugural season of electric off-road series Extreme E, the lack of noise is the first indication that this is international motorsport done differently. When the nine fully electric 550bhp Odyssey 21 SUVs enter the arena, it is in large part to the sound of wet mud displaced by exclusive tyre supplier Continental’s Extreme E tyre, which is based on the German manufacturer’s CrossContact range. Primarily targeting a broadcast and internet audience, the teams, event staff, and small number of attendees on-site mingle under canvas, watching most of the action from the circuit unfold on big screens. During the races, teams complete the switch between the male and female drivers – another indicator of how Extreme E approaches motorsport differently – in front of this area.
The DVSA has banned Jamie Smith of Rookhill Road, Pontefract for claiming to have ‘completed’ an MOT test and issuing a pass certificate for a Mercedes-Benz C van at a garage in West Yorkshire when it had been seized by Spanish police for not having valid tax or MOT. Smith has also been sentenced to a 12-month community order and banned from testing. According to the DVSA, the van was one of nine vehicles Smith falsely issued MOT certificates for.
Michelin secures Fred Sherwood Group tyre management return
Michelin has secured a new three-year Effitires contract to supply, fit and manage the tyres across the Fred Sherwood Group’s entire HGV fleet – totalling in excess of 650 trucks and trailers. The deal includes Fred Sherwood Transport, Bulk Freight, KJ Transport and George Varney Bulk Services – marking a return to a 100 per cent Michelin policy for the Group, following several years of running a rival manufacturer’s tyres.
Dealers optimistic about demand despite current new car issues – NFDA
The National Franchised Dealers Association argues that there is cause for optimism in the new car sector based on strong consumer demand, despite a disappointing 1 per cent increase in new car registrations in 2021. Chief executive Sue Robinson said: “A poll conducted by NFDA revealed that 78.6 per cent of franchised vehicle dealers are optimistic about the level of demand in the year ahead as consumer confidence improves while we move through the pandemic and the electrification of the UK car parc continues apace.
‘Year EVs became mainstream’ but infrastructure, pricing concern buyers – Deloitte
Responding to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ 2021 new car registration data, analyst Deloitte has proclaimed 2021 “the year electric vehicles became mainstream”. It added that range issues are receding as a headwind thanks to technological progress. It identifies the speed of charge point infrastructure and the price of entry post-subsidies as the major headwinds for the sector in 2022.
Most successful year for electric cars, but 2021 UK registrations just 1% higher than 2020
2021 UK car sales were stalled by Covid and its impact on the supply chain, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders explains. 1.65 million new cars were registered in an increase of just 1.0 per cent on pandemic-ravaged 2020, making it the second-worst year since 1992. Sales were -28.7 per cent below pre-Covid levels thanks to headwinds, which included the semiconductor shortage. However, figures did show that the transition to electric cars is proceeding quickly. More than one in six registrations were plug-in, while battery electric cars alone rose to one in nine. Overall, the SMMT notes that this means more BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) were registered than in 2016-2020 combined. The society added that the UK auto industry is calling for the government to extend incentives and mandate chargepoint targets. It argues that the UK needs to accelerate consumer uptake of EVs, maintaining the country’s attractiveness against competitor markets.
RL Automotive introduces AutoAlign for a greener transport world
As transport industries strive to balance commercial considerations with safety, compliance and the general ‘green’ issues of the day, digital analysis and sustainable technology developer, RL Automotive, has introduced a unique tyre management platform with a range of monitoring systems which enables fleet managers across all commercial sectors to reduce running costs, increase safety and limit the environmental impact of their operation.
Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc releases images of former Dundee plant’s new innovation hub
Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP), a joint venture between Michelin, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise, has released the first images of the innovation hub that will be at the heart of the “world-class Innovation Parc…for sustainable mobility and decarbonisation” the JV is creating. Construction will begin on the Innovation Hub in early 2022 with completion expected in 2023.
Kerr’s Tyres Group opened its 20th tyre centre in Bangor, County Down on Monday 3 January 2022. The opening of branch number 20 is the latest in a string of announcements in recent years that have “propelled the group’s expansion”. And what’s more, according to an official statement, the organisation aims to announce further expansion plans in the coming months.
Last year, new car registrations grew by a marginal 1.0 per cent on a pandemic-ravaged 2020, as 1.65 million new cars entered the UK market. Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) underline the ongoing impact of Covid and the semiconductor shortage on the industry, with the market down 28.7 per cent on pre-pandemic 2019, representing the second worst year since 1992.
TPMS: Bartec navigates shortages to engineer strong sales for 2022
Bartec Auto ID Limited, the Barnsley based TPMS manufacturer, reports strong growth in sales of TPMS sensors and tools worldwide during 2021. The launch of three new TPMS tools, the TECH350, TECH450, and TECH600, reportedly resulted in existing tool users upgrading their experience and taking advantage of Wi-Fi connectivity for software and coverage upgrades. According to Bartec, the new tools link to TPMS Desktop which has a library of information about TPMS and stores the repair data for later audit.