UK car manufacturing faces long wait to return to normal levels – KPMG
While UK car manufacturing is beginning to reopen production lines after producing just 197 units in April, Andrew Burn, partner and head of Automotive at KPMG, said the road ahead is far from clear, despite the UK’s car dealerships being given the green light to open. Export markets, uncertainty about demand, and the challenge of cross-border supply chains all provide significant headwinds for the country’s car makers.
15 commercial vehicles manufactured in April, down -99.3%
Only 15 units ran off UK commercial vehicle (CV) production lines in April, -99.3 down year-on-year.The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) chief executive, Mike Hawes said that while unsurprising, the figures “illustrate the incredible challenge facing the UK commercial vehicle sector” as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.
Micheldever focused on supporting tyre dealers’ survival during lockdown
During our recent “Kickstarting your tyre business webinar”, the panel shared lockdown stories of how they have survived and even experienced success during these difficult times. For his part, Graham Mitchell, wholesale director of Micheldever Tyre Services, shared details of how his company moved from its role as a leading wholesaler to a more support-orientated position. For those pivoting into this new role during lockdown, far from having less to do, this meant being even busier than normal despite wholesale volumes dropping to 25 per cent of normal levels during the depths of lockdown (levels are much more normal now, however).
April car production was basically non-existant in the UK. The country’s output for the month was the lowest since the Second World War, down -99.7 per cent, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures. The coronavirus lockdown forced plants to close, meaning just 197 premium, luxury and sports cars left factory gates in the month. These were models that had been assembled prior to shutdowns with only finishing touches needed.
Tyre distributors come together for ‘Kick-starting your business’ webinar
Tyre distributors from across the country have come together to support the restarting of the tyre trade. Large and small retailers from St Helens to the South East worked together to produce the inaugural Tyrepress webinar entitled “Kick-starting your tyre business’.
Kerr’s Tyres secures £500k funding from Ulster Bank
Kerr’s Tyres & Auto, one of Northern Ireland’s leading suppliers of tyres and automotive services, has secured a half-million pound loan from Ulster Bank to support it through the coronavirus crisis. It has been delivered through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
FreshLinc Group fits 100% Michelin tyres on bulk transport fleet
FreshLinc Group has moved its entire bulk transport fleet onto its existing Effitires tyre management contract. The company’s fleet now runs exclusively on Michelin tyres as a result. FreshLinc has grown into one of the UK’s biggest logistics firms, having been established in 2996. It operates four separate divisions – FreshLinc Chilled, FLX Logistics, DirectLinc and FLB – with a combined fleet of approximately 400 commercial vehicles. The company has fitted Michelin tyre for more than a decade.
Top Treads looks forward to sustainable retreading future
One of Bridgestone’s largest European Bandag franchisees, Top Treads, stayed open during the current pandemic in order “to support our customers, changing working practices” while also “implementing social distancing”, according to Top Treads’ owner and managing director Steve Evans. Moving forward, the firm’s faith in its sustainable retread products is beginning to reap dividends in the demanding commercial tyre market.
IGA launching Covid-19 Compliance scheme for independent garages
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is launching a Covid-19 compliance certification scheme for garages wishing to demonstrate to their customers that the environment is safe. The scheme is based on the Government’s safe working guidelines to prevent coronavirus transmission and will underpin the IGA’s case to overturn the six-month MOT extension by providing evidence that garages are safe places for consumers to visit.
IAAF praises sector as it fights to overhaul MOT extension
The IAAF is continuing to call for the MOT extension to be scrapped and has written to government to get the decision overturned. In various communications with DVSA and Department for Transport, IAAF chief executive, Wendy Williamson said the decision to extend the MOT “will inevitably have a serious impact on road safety as road worthiness can alter greatly during this period. There is also the obvious concern that due to this postponement there could be thousands of vehicles on the road that are dangerous and unroadworthy.”
Prometeon supporting Red Cross during coronavirus pandemic
Prometeon Tyre Group is donating one euro for each tyre sold in Europe in May to the International Committee of the Red Cross’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its Together initiative, Prometeon has invited suppliers, customers and its staff to donate as well. Furthermore, Prometeon will match its suppliers’ contributions.
Brexit and COVID-19 leading UK businesses to turn to international markets
A survey among of over 900 decision-makers within UK businesses has found that: 57 per cent of UK private sector organisations are considering expansion into new global markets in the near future as a result of COVID-19. The research, commissioned by One World Express, also found that 45 per cent of businesses say the pandemic has made them realise they are overly reliant on one market. At the same time, 44 per cent are looking to expand into markets outside of the Single Market due to Brexit.
Bandvulc, a Continental Tyres subsidiary is the preferred choice for leading contract hire and fleet management company, Specialist Fleet Services (SFS). Indeed, SFS, a leading contract hire and fleet management supplier to local authorities across the UK, is seeing its relationship with Teignbridge District Council move into an 18th year, something the companies credit in part to the tyre supply and management contract with Bandvulc.
Rising demand for private parking as UK workers seek public transport alternative
Demand for renting private parking spaces in or near city centres has increased dramatically in the past few weeks, according to ParkLet, the UK’s largest parking space letting agent. The company, which initially experienced an 82 per cent slump in demand at the beginning of the UK’s lockdown period, has since seen a 47 per cent rise above normal April volumes (and similar for May), as the country’s employees avoid using public transport and instead switch to driving to and from their workplace. With traditional city-centre parking often being overcrowded and overpriced, it appears many commuters are looking at alternative options such as renting private parking spaces.
GlobalData forecasts 30% drop in UK new car market 2020
Following the news that car dealerships in England can re-open from 1 June, David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData urged caution that car demand will continue to be “well below normal.” The analyst currently forecasts that the UK new car market will be 30 per cent down, year on year.