The high-value OTR tyre sector is featured in the May issue of Tyres & Accessories. The various applications of the largest OTR tyres mean that global markets are regularly in flux. In the UK, long-term national construction projects result in an increased degree of demand, for example. The effect of the pandemic on the construction sector appears to have been overcome by companies’ adaptability to new working practices; infrastructure work in the country is already at higher levels than at the end of 2019, while construction firms are reporting full order books to finance news sources. Developments in OTR tyres include the positioning of premium manufacturers as “tyres as a service” style providers, with technology-based packages embellishing the core tyre offer; some sub-premium brands have also made progressing in building their position via partnerships and original equipment deals.
In the face of extremely difficult conditions, the tyre retail sector has shown adaptability and agility to navigate the various lockdowns of the past 12 months. The first national lockdown in the UK proved to be the most challenging, in part exacerbated by the government’s MOT freeze despite auto technicians’ status as key workers. The measures retailers put in place to ensure a safe environment for customers and staff – discussed in the T&A/Tyrepress webinar ‘Kick-starting Your Tyre Business’ – soon became the norm, allowing the sector to roll with the punches of subsequent regional and national lockdowns. Overall, some retailers have told T&A that, while undoubtedly challenging, 2020 was not as bad as many feared. In the context of a country slowly beginning its route back to normality, T&A looks at the latest developments this vital sector in the May issue.