The complexity of the UK tyre wholesale sector has certainly ramped up considerably thanks to what may be termed an almost perfect storm of external factors relating both to the Covid pandemic and Brexit. With retail margins on consumer tyres already very fine, the wholesale sector has been key in keeping price increases under control, especially considering the spiralling cost of shipping. But as those in the sector know, the value wholesalers add within the distribution chain is a considerably wider subject than purely price. Arguably, the service dimension has never been more important than in the last 18 months, as retail businesses adapted to a market transformed by externalities. Tyres & Accessories asked Graham Mitchell, Micheldever Tyre Services wholesale director, about how the business is faring in 2021, starting with its performance this year.
Hankook Tire is expanding its Dynapro line-up in North America with the introduction of the new ‘Rugged Terrain’ Hankook Dynapro XT and next-generation Dynapro AT2 Xtreme. It will offer the Dynapro XT is 30 sizes in this market. At launch the Dynapro AT2 Xtreme will cover 32 sizes, however Hankook says it will continue adding new sizes through a phased launch, eventually reaching 98 total sizes by 2022. The tyre maker states that the introduction of the two products will accelerate its penetration into the US market.
The Giti Gazelles and Giti Tire have again teamed up to take on the toughest and most conscientious women-only cross-country motorsports event on the planet – the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc. English born Helen Tate Wright and New Zealander Sue Alemann, their Defender 110 named Priscilla and a set of Giti AT70 4×4 all-terrain tyres will cover 2,500 kilometres of deserted Moroccan landscape from September 23-30 in the names of racing and charity.
Kevin Burke Tyres (KBT) has signed an initial three-year distribution partnership with Groupe Michelin brand BFGoodrich. The wholesaler will supply BFGoodrich tyres across the whole of Ireland until at least mid-2024 with the option to extend for a further two years. The deal covers BFGoodrich car, van, SUV and 4×4 tyres, all of which will be stocked for next-day delivery at KBT’s warehouse facility in Athenry, County Galway. The company has stocked “large quantities” of BFGoodrich tyres since 2015, it said, with the new deal representing the latest step in its developing relationship with the brand. The deal follows news from Great Britain that newly appointed UK BFGoodrich 4×4 wholesaler Micheldever Tyre Services has almost doubled its sales of the brand in the last year.
Micheldever Tyre Services has almost doubled its sales of BFGoodrich tyres since becoming the brand’s official 4×4 wholesaler in the UK at the start of 2020. The agreement sees the Winchester-based business – which has established a wholesale distribution network of 15 sites around the country, supplying more than 6,000 retailers nationwide – stock a large selection of BFGoodrich’s All Terrain T/A KO2 and Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 ranges, helping to ensure excellent product availability throughout the year.
Micheldever Tyre and Auto Services has become a four- time winner of the Pirelli 4×4 Key Dealer of the Year award in the sixth year of running the accolade. Each year, the 4×4 Key Dealer of the Year award gives 15 of Pirelli’s exclusive 4×4 Key Dealer Club members the opportunity to nominate one of their depots to enter for the prestigious award. As part of the process, each depot must take part in a number of independently-run mystery shop audits.
Yokohama Tire is returning as the title sponsor of the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 for the fifth consecutive year. And this time the tyremaker is bringing along elite drivers such as Justin Lofton and new Team Yokohama member Tanner Foust for the 54th running of the iconic rally, which takes place on the famed Baja peninsula 25-29 April 2021.
The Ford Ranger Raptor is now exclusively fitted with General Grabber AT3 tyres as standard. The high-performance off-road pickup from Ford features a specially developed motorsport-friendly chassis. And its particular performance qualities come to the fore at high speeds away from paved roads.
Like all vehicle manufacturers, Ford defines a wide range of requirements, which Continental (the manufacturer of the General Tire brand) reports the Grabber AT3 “more than met during intensive testing”.
With Land Rover Defender production ceasing after 67 years of manufacturing, an exclusive limited build programme by Land Rover’s Classic division is going to give 25 enthusiasts the chance to own a special version of the original Defender wearing the Works V8 Trophy badge.
For the last few years Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) take-up has continued apace. Indeed, according to the latest UK vehicle registrations figures, cars that can be described as SUVs now occupy a significant portion of new vehicle market share. Indeed, the Nissan Qashqai crossover was the third most popular purchase in February 2021, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). And the Volvo XC40 as well as the Volkswagen T-Roc and Tiguan also figure in the top 10. Of course, all these vehicles need tyres so there is every chance that the recent trend towards SUV tyre replacement sales is also going to continue over the next few years. But what about last year? With these trends in mind, the month’s SUV tyre feature takes a closer look the best products on the market beginning with a detailed look at the latest market data produced in association with GfK.
The breadth of Kumho’s 4×4 tyre range has been further enhanced by the addition of the new Ectsa PS71 SUV in some 12 sizes, specially developed for large, powerful SUVs and designed for 100 per cent on-road use. As a result, the vast majority of requirements will be covered by the newcomer and other on-road products such as the Crugen HP91 and HP71, plus the cross-functional Road Venture patterned MT51 and AT61. Between them, they cover everything from top-end SUVs such as the Audi Q7, Range Rover and BMW X5 to the ever-popular classic Land Rover Defender.
Contract manufacturer SD-International’s Zeta and Toledo tyre brands offer a range of patterns for all types of SUV vehicles.
For its part, the Zeta brand features the Impero range, which provides “modern and stylish designed high performance SUV patterns” that are said to “guarantee overall superb safe drive” as well as “All Season road handling performance”. The Impero range also offers a new tread compound and profile thar results in a 25 per cent improvement in wet grip. The Zeta Impero is currently available in 54 sizes, ranging from 215/65 R16 to 285/35 ZR22.
With a growing number of SUVs on the roads – both ICE and electric – there is an increasing need for high-performance tyres that can handle heavier loads without sacrificing performance. Whether you need a sporty, lower-profile tyre or a more traditional offering, company representatives say Davanti Tyres has a range that addresses such demands.
Singapore-based contract tyre manufacturer Sumo Firenza is promoting its “tough and rugged” Firenza-branded AT186, HT183 and ST185 SUV/4×4 tyres. All three patterns are designed and produced in what the company calls “state-of-the-art tyre building facilities in Asia”.