Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations ended 2020 down -20.0 per cent, with the van market rounding off the year in decline following three months of growth. 292,657 vehicles were registered in 2020, as the impact of Covid and uncertainty over the future relationship with the EU brought down demand toward the end of the year, with registrations in the final month of the year dropping -1.0 per cent, albeit with volumes consistent with previous Decembers.
Following the news that the law relating to old tyres has changed, the DVSA has updated its guidance documents. DVSA, the body that oversees the nation’s MOT roadworthiness tests, re-asserted that tyres aged over 10 years on the front axles of lorries, buses, coaches and all single wheels of minibuses (9 to 16 passenger seats) are banned from 1 February 2021.
UK new car registrations fall -29.4% to 30-year low
The UK new car market fell by 29.4 per cent in 2020, with annual registrations dropping to 1,631,064 units, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today 6 January 2021. A -10.9 per cent decline in December topped off a turbulent year, which saw demand fall by 680,076 units to a near 30-year low (specifically, the lowest level of registrations since 1992).
BA Bush reiterates that it is open during lockdown 3.0
BA Bush, the 17th largest tyre retailer in the UK – according to our 2020 report – was amongst the first to publish its response to the news of lockdown 3.0. In essence, BA Bush reiterated that it is remaining open for business just as it did in the short “circuit-breaker” lockdown before Christmas 2020.
Tyre specialists, fast-fits and other garages will remain open despite news of the UK’s third national lockdown on the evening of 4 January 2021. Continuing the trend of the last two lockdowns, the stalwart tyre business has worked through the crisis to keep Britain rolling, with NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay reported increase take-up of the association’s key worker accreditation cards.
Initial automotive industry reactions to UK Brexit deal
Just before Christmas, the UK Government and the EU announced that they had thrashed out a no-tariff trade deal. Negotiations went down to the wire, but, a mere four and a half years after the UK voting to leave the EU, agreement was approved by both sides.
Falken truck tyres help customer make it to the Arctic Circle
Falken customer Kevin Hancock and his Iveco campervan – converted from a former life as a mobile police office – have made a journey of a lifetime from Swansea, Wales to the Arctic Circle. Travelling through temperatures as low as -27 degrees Celsius, snow, and ice, Hankock made the trip on Falken’s regional RI 151 and BI 851 tyres.
The difference between lockdowns 1 and 2 for the tyre trade
A couple of weeks after the end of the UK’s second lockdown, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Micheldever Tyre Services wholesale director Graham Mitchell. Since Mitchell was part of the panel in our inaugural “Kickstarting your tyre business” webinar in May 2020 at the end of the first lockdown, we thought it would be good to catch up at the end of the year and compare the differences between the first and second lockdowns. In short, while many shops closed during the first lockdown, the vast majority were open for business during the second. We also discussed 2020 as a whole and looked forward to 2021.
Tyre importers should plan for lack of space on ships and freight increases
Back in April, Tyres & Accessories spoke to leading supplier of freight forwarding services to the UK tyre sector, Maritime Cargo Services about the perfect storm of circumstances complicating life for tyre importers. Then it was difficult to anticipate the logistical problems the industry would face by the end of the first quarter – at least far enough ahead to sidestep the issues entirely. Even armed with the expectation of disruption, the pressure has built at British ports throughout the year, especially in the last quarter as Covid began to spike again. As a result, Honda UK’s suspension of production became a high-profile symptom of the catalogue of issues causing bottlenecking and ultimately delays in the supply chain. With the end of the Brexit transition coming amidst the second spike of Covid-19 transmissions on 31 December, T&A asked MCS again about what difficulties distribution businesses need to plan for this winter.
Theory is one thing, but practice is quite another. With this in mind, we took a look at one tyre retailer’s real-life experience with TPMS. Quayside Tyre & Service Centre reports that it has enjoyed a fruitful three-year relationship with Autogem, which began with its TPMS programme and i-sensor device, and has gone on to include Michelin Pro Series Wiper Blades for the first time. Here, owner Glenn Harrison reflects on a three-year anniversary with Autogem and outlines the benefits associated with the ongoing partnership.
Autogem: TPMS programme a positive within the turbulence
While 2020 was a challenging year for the aftermarket, Autogem has reflected on a number of positives amid the turbulence which have cemented its position as a supplier of automotive chemicals, fasteners, hand tools, tyre and workshop consumables and exhaust fittings. Indeed, the firm’s TPMS programme represents a key highlight, with the company can lay claim to being “genuine innovators” in this segment.
Continental Tyres awarded 2020/21 Superbrands Status
Continental Tyres has been awarded Superbrands status for 2020/21, recognised for “establishing an exceptional reputation in its field”. The Superbrands organisation identifies and pays tribute to exceptional brands throughout the world in over 85 countries. This year’s survey evaluated a shortlist of 1,600 consumer facing business brands across 74 categories from Automotive Products to Watches.
Hankook UK appoints Cottrell to TBR tyre sales manager
Hankook Tyre UK has appointed Jon Cottrell as UK commercial sales manager. He follows on from Paul Emery who was promoted to UK sales director earlier in 2020. Cottrell has a career spanning more than twenty years in the tyre industry, including spells with Bridgestone, Goodyear Dunlop, Mitas, and most recently Apollo Vredestein. Hankook says he will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the commercial sales department within Hankook Tyre UK. This includes the expansion of both the Laufenn and Alphatread ranges, contributing to the overall growth strategy.
Excel Automotive Group (EAG) will distribute RYMEC clutches to the aftermarket. RYMEC has been a prominent name in the automotive aftermarket for nearly 40 years, providing high quality clutch kits and transmission parts. Its components are accredited to ISO9001 and ISO14001, giving customers complete peace of mind when fitting them.