So far, the majority of our ongoing Torque from the Top series of interviews with leading players in the UK tyre business have been with executives hailing from the manufacturing side of things. This month we redress the balance by engaging with Andy Fern who is the managing director of one of the UK’s largest tyre wholesale businesses, Stapleton’s. Here he talks us through the resilience of staff and customers during the turbulent couple of years we have all experience and details the “seismic shift in the market” that has come with increase online demand from consumers.
European Tyre Enterprise Limited (ETEL) has appointed Andy Fern as managing director of its Stapleton’s Tyre Services tyre wholesale business.
Fern, who is currently group fleet sales director, replaces Wataru Goroku (‘Go’), who is taking on a new role with ETEL’s parent company Itochu. Go will provide continuity by taking the role of chairman of Stapleton’s during a transition period to ensure a smooth handover.
The long-standing relationship between Kwik Fit and Alphabet (GB) Limited has been extended by a new sole-supply contract. This latest agreement with the fleet leasing and business mobility specialist will see Kwik Fit continue its supply of tyres and a range of ancillary services across Alphabet’s fleet of almost 140,000 company cars and vans for at least three more years.
The number of plug-in electric cars on UK roads is increasing month-on-month, and the changes to company car benefit-in-kind tax being introduced from April 2020 are expected to see this growth accelerate even more rapidly. Kwik Fit stresses that tyre selection – allied to driving style – is critical to maximising these vehicles’ performance and longevity and minimising fleet costs. The automotive maintenance and repair company posits that premium brands offer the best solution.
A new, three-year contract sees Kwik Fit become sole supplier of tyres and associated products to SG Fleet UK. The arrangement covers more than 13,000 company cars and vans that SG Fleet UK currently has under management.
The method of determining company car tax in the UK will change in April 2020 when the government switches over to the World Light-duty Test Procedure (WLTP) for measuring CO2 emissions, and Kwik-Fit suggests that the adoption of the WLTP could lead to larger diameter rim and tyre sizes falling out of favour.
After a gap of some three years, Kwik Fit has regained the contract to exclusively supply a range of tyre-related services to British Gas, which operates one of the UK’s largest owner fleets. Under a new three-year contract, Kwik Fit takes over from ATS Euromaster.
Lex Autolease, the UK’s leading vehicle management and fleet leasing company, named Kwik Fit its Service Provider of the Year at its recent annual Supplier Conference. The honour comes as the two companies celebrate a 20-year sole supply arrangement.
Trials carried out by the DEKRA Automobile Test Centre in Germany on behalf of Michelin indicates this brand of summer tyre lasts an average of nearly 5,000 miles longer than the average mileage for a group of well-known competitor brands. Andy Fern, head of Fleet at Michelin Tyre plc, notes that this performance advantage is the equivalent of more than three months of additional motoring (based on an average company car mileage of 18,600 miles per annum, as per DfT figures).
Van Fleet World has presented Michelin’s CrossClimate tyre range with a second fleet award in as many months. The tyre was named winner of the Innovation Award at the Van Fleet World Honours 2016 to follow its Best New Product gong presented by Fleet News in March. The latest award was presented to Andy Fern, Michelin’s head of fleet, at the RAC Club in London before an audience of senior executives from across the fleet sector.
Britain’s largest energy provider, British Gas, plans to fit Michelin CrossClimate tyres to its fleet of 13,000 commercial vehicles. It will ask OEMs to supply CrossClimate tyres on its new vehicles where possible, and all replacement tyres will be fitted by ATS Euromaster.