Tyre people often remind us that the tyre is a vehicle’s only point of contact with the ground. This is, of course, true and a very salient point. However, as tyres get smarter, so are roads and infrastructure.
Beleaguered wholesale and tyre services company Kings Road Tyres is now in administration, with KPMG appointed joint administrators. The administration comes at the end of nearly a decade of turbulence for the company, which is one of the UK’s oldest tyre wholesale operations, having been incorporated in 1959.
For the last 11 years Tyres & Accessories’ annual UK retail ranking has consistently shown that the top 20 tyre retailers account for around 2000 branches between then. When you consider that there are something like 10,000 tyre points of sale in the UK, this means that these top firms occupy something like 20 per cent of the business between them. The remaining 80 per cent, however, is spread out amongst thousands of businesses with single-shop or small chain operations. It is not uncommon for individual smaller dealers from this overwhelming majority to feel underappreciated by their manufacturer and wholesaler suppliers who – they think – favour the larger chains. Tyres & Accessories recently met up with Stone Tyres founder John Stone and found out how he and around 100 other shops are working to redress the balance.
Camfin gains right to buy up to 15% of Pirelli shares
Pirelli shareholder Camfin now has the right to buy up to 15 per cent of Pirelli shares. The news came when Camfin announced on 26 September that it had underwritten “an additional financial instrument, maturing in September 2022, denominated ‘Call Spread’ with 8.9 million Pirelli shares underlying”. Call Spread’s shareholding equates to 0.89% of Pirelli’s share capital.
We are all familiar with the likes of MoneySuperMarket, CompareTheMarket and Confused.com. Beginning with financial and insurance products, these sites set out to give consumers more choice and the ability to compare the prices. Owing to the fact that tyres are arguably more complex, the tyre industry has moved a bit slower when it comes to comparison. During the last year or so, however, tyre comparison has come of age. So, who are the main players, what are the differences and where did tyre comparison all begin?
Giti extends Micheldever exclusive distribution of GT Radial, Runway tyres
Giti Tire has extended its exclusive distribution agreement with Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) for its GT Radial and Runway brands for a further four years. The new deal, which runs until 2022, will continue to cover the passenger car, 4x4 and light truck tyre segments. Tyrepress understands that certain car and SUV sizes of Giti Tires eponymous Giti brand will continue to be available via Micheldever, where no equivalent GT Radial-branded tyre is currently available. The brand was first added to Micheldevers inventory in 10 such sizes in 2018.
Pirelli has returned to the top of our global social media ranking after four years away from pole position. The last time the @Pirelli-linked account led the way in Tyrepress’ worldwide meta-metric was in 2015 when the Italian tyre manufacturer well-known for its luxury and supercar marketing won with 84.50 points. Last year, the same score of 84.50 only secured second place for Pirelli. But this time round Pirelli achieved 90.30 with scores over 90 awarded by both Klear and Kred. This marks the first time that any brand has achieved two 90-plus scores in any of our social media rankings since they began eight years ago in 2011.
Job cuts, changes: Continental responds to evolving automotive market
More than eight per cent of Continental’s current global workforce may be affected by measures introduced over the coming decade to reduce its gross costs by 500 million euros a year from 2023. Continental says up to 20,000 jobs worldwide are expected to be affected by this restructuring programme over the coming ten years; around 15,000 of these by the end of 20
Earlier today, the Michelin Group informed the 858 people employed in its tyre factory in Bamberg, Germany that they will close the plant in stages between now and the start of 2021. Michelin states that this decision “comes after a consultation phase” with the plant’s works council in accordance with German legislation.
Corporate bond to finance Environ’s ownership of recycling plants
Scandinavian Enviro Systems (Enviro) is developing a public, international corporate bond to finance the company’s ownership of forthcoming recycling plants for end-of-life vehicle tyres. The work to develop the bond is being carried out in collaboration with the London-based financial adviser, Zenzic Partners.
Prinx Chengshan Europe moves to Germany – Thomas Wohlgemuth appointed MD
Thomas Wohlgemuth has taken over as managing director of Prinx Chengshan Europe, effective 1 September. His appointment coincides with the relocation of Prinx Chengshan’s European head office from Slovakia to Germany. He succeeds Ivan Majsky, who is no longer with the company.
Prometeon and Greenroad sign partnership agreement
Prometeon Tyre Group has signed a partnership agreement with GreenRoad, a provider of fleet safety and performance solutions. According to the two companies, the agreement enables Prometeon to “enrich its PRO-Services fleet services portfolio, through the addition of PRO Drive, the new solution based on GreenRoad Know-how and expertise in the fleet management and Telematics sector.”
Davanti progressing with Protoura, planning all-season segment entry
The latest Davanti Tyres project, the Protoura Sport, made its Far East debut at CITExpo in August. We caught up with Michael Eckert, sales director for mainland Europe, at the show. He told us that Davanti was currently testing the Protoura Sport prior to submitting the tyre to product certification firm IDIADA. “Volume production will probably then start before the end of this year, and the first Protoura Sport tyres should arrive in Europe in March or April 2020.”
CITExpo 2019: Visitors, exhibitors responding ‘energetically’ to challenging market
Tyres & Accessories has attended and participated in the China International Tire Expo (CITExpo) for much of its 16 years. During this time, we’ve witnessed the trade fair’s evolution in a changing tyre market, and did so again in August when we returned to the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center for this year’s show.