March LCV sales up 85.5 per cent, but still below industry expectations
SMMT figures show that the new light commercial vehicle market grew by 85.5 per cent in March with 56,122 vans joining UK roads with the ’21 new number plate. Usually one of the busiest months of the year, March saw the largest-ever increase since the switch to the two plate system in 1999, but one which still represented an -10.9 per cent decrease when compared to the pre-pandemic 2015-2019 average, as prolonged nationwide lockdown continued to suppress business confidence in the first quarter of the year.
Fleet sales mean March new car sales up 11.5 per cent YOY
The car registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for the month of March shows that the UK new car market recorded its first ‘growth’ since August 2020, with 29,280 more units registered during March compared to the same month last year. However, the month represents the anniversary of the first lockdown in March 2020, when the pandemic brought Britain to a standstill and registrations fell by -44.4 per cent.
Uswitch, the comparison website, recently commissioned a survey among UK motorists to test their knowledge of the rules concerning when headlights should be switched on. Says Joel Kempson, Personal Finance Writer and car insurance expert at Uswitch; “With the days getting longer, and restrictions easing, we’ll soon be hopping back into our cars for the first time in months. And although they say driving is like riding a bike – you never forget – there are some things that do slip our minds.”
Cheadle-based Klarius Products is offering aspiring young professionals the chance to build a career in engineering, with the business hiring four new apprentices. The largest UK manufacturer of aftermarket exhausts, Klarius is looking for applicants to join its Administration, Maintenance, Technical and Quality departments.
UK commercial vehicle (CV) production declined -45.4 per cent in February, with 4,308 units built, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). CV manufacturing entered its fifth consecutive month of decline as supply chain shortages, new customs processes and prolonged lockdown measures across the globe affected output, resulting in the worst February on record.
Excel Automotive Group (EAG) has implemented MAM’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) to improve efficiency and accuracy in its warehouse logistics. The WMS optimises the flow of products through the EAG warehouse in Leeds, managing all activities from goods receiving and putaway to picking, packing and shipment. It also includes a hand-held PDA and scanner that handles all data input and communicates wirelessly with the main software application, where a dashboard provides an instant snapshot of current activities.
Isle of Man TT winner Plater becomes Avon motorcycle tyre ambassador
Avon Tyres and two-time Isle of Man TT race winner and former British Supersport champion Steve Plater has become brand ambassador for Avon’s motorcycle tyre range. Avon has been working closely with Plater in recent months to enhance the 3D Ultra Xtreme and 3D Ultra Xtreme Slick products. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the 3D Ultra Xtreme and 3D Ultra Xtreme Slick, along with the wet-weather 3D Ultra Xtreme Rain Racer, are high-performance tyres developed with demanding track use in mind. Cooper has previously introduced brand ambassadors for particular product ranges, like Formula 1s David Coulthard, who represented Cooper UHP tyres.
Number of privately licensed battery electric vehicles in the UK rises 53 per cent in a year – RAC
RAC analysis of the latest official Government data shows that the number of battery electric vehicles (‘BEVs’) in private hands in the UK rose by nearly 30,000 in the 12 months to September 2020, an increase of 53 per cent on the year before, with more than a third of these (36 per cent) in London and the South East of England.
Kwik-Fit report shows cost of pothole damage rises despite huge drop in mileage
New research released today (31 March) reveals that the impact of the pandemic has resulted in the average driver reducing their mileage by 42 per cent over the last year. However, there has not been an equivalent drop in the amount of pothole damage to the nation’s vehicles.
Dunlop SP346+ launched to ‘support versatile commercial operations’
Dunlop has introduced the SP346+ steer tyre for “fleets and hauliers who demand a wide variety of performances in all on-road applications”. According to the company, the Dunlop SP346+ features a range of technologies designed to achieve high mileage, robust durability and improved fuel efficiency or low energy consumption for electric vehicles. It offers advanced winter grip, “making it a tyre for all seasons and all purposes” in Dunlop’s words.
WhatTyre publishes inaugural Tyre of the Year Awards nominations
WhatTyre has published the nominations for its inaugural WhatTyre Tyre of the Year Awards with a series of articles promoting the nominations, shortlists and winners of the WhatTyre Awards. WhatTyre, a tyre news and comparison site that now attracts over 75,000 visits a month, says the goal of these consumer-facing awards aligns with the ethos of the whole WhatTyre.com concept – to help consumers find the best tyres for them and to help raise the level of conversation about tyres.
2021 Tyre Industry Awards “will definitely go ahead”
After hiatus last year, the NTDA’s Tyre Industry Awards will be back in 2021, according to the association’s chief executive Stefan Hay.
The Awards are scheduled to be presented to the winners at a ceremony sponsored by Sailun at the NTDA Annual Dinner, which is due to take place on the evening of Thursday 7 October 2021 at the ICC Birmingham, following the daytime Tyre Industry Conference sponsored by GB Tyres Ltd in association with Linglong Tire.
GB Tyres introduces 6-year warranty on JK Tyre commercial vehicle tyres
GB Tyres has introduced a new six-year warranty on JK Tyre’s commercial vehicle tyres. The wholesaler became the exclusive UK & Ireland distributor of the Indian brand’s tyre range in January 2020. GB Tyres told Tyres & Accessories that the first year of the partnership has been “very successful” and the customer feedback it has generated has allowed it to fully assess the quality and performance of the brand under various working conditions.
1 in 7 UK drivers have considered getting rid of car because of Pandemic
Almost one in seven (14 per cent) UK drivers have considered getting rid of their car because of the pandemic (17 per cent men and 11 per cent women), rising to one in three (35 per cent) of under 34s. According to a new survey of 2,000 UK drivers by InsuretheGap, a provider of Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance, over half (56 per cent) say they do not need a car as much as they did before the pandemic (53 per cent men and 59 per cent women).
Commercial vehicle tyre suppliers are increasingly required to be multifaceted in their approach. Following its acquisition of TomTom Telematics in 2019 (now known as Webfleet Solutions), Bridgestone’s transition from tyre producer to mobility solutions provider with increasingly integrated approaches to fleet services moved up several gears. Demand for fleet-based mobility grows year-on-year, the tyre manufacturer says, with fleet managers demanding reliable and innovative services to maximise their effectiveness and efficiency. Webfleet Solutions has allowed Bridgestone to support business process streamlining with seamless end-to-end systems. These include transport management systems, on-board cameras, and route optimisation.