With a pandemic, an MOT extension and three lockdowns to contend with, describing the last year as “difficult” would be an understatement. Nevertheless, tyre retailers have demonstrated that they are not only key workers essential to keeping the British Isles rolling, but also versatile and resilient businesspeople during the last 12 months. A quick look at the top 25 UK tyre retail chains 2021 table reveals that it has been a more eventful year than normal in terms of branch openings and closings, but overall the clear message is one of consolidation. As a result, the top 25 UK tyre retail chains wield more power than ever. Specifically, the top 25 now run 2528 branches between them. When our coverage of this area began back at the end of the 2008/2009 tax year, the figure was 1978. During the interim, the rough estimate for the total number of tyre retailers national has stayed stable at around 10,000 specialists (that number is roughly double that if you include general garages). This means the top 25 occupy roughly 25 per cent of the number of branches, up 6 percentage points since 2009.
Multi-brand commercial fleet specialist Tructyre is part of the global Michelin group and Euromaster family. As is the case for many companies, Tructyre has found the past 12 months challenging, and it has focused on managing the impacts of the pandemic and helping to keep customers moving throughout the crisis.
ATS Euromaster has enjoyed ten per cent growth in its Mastercare LCV fleet inspection service over the last 12 months. With this growth, the operation is now inspecting more than 2,500 vehicles per month.
It is often said that this is the busiest week of the year for the nation’s firefighters. While 5 November 2020 looks likely to be an outlier in this regard thanks to the new national restrictions to counter rising Covid-19 infections, there’s no more appropriate time of year to follow up our previous looks at the tyre demands of police forces with a similar analysis of the fire service. T&A made Freedom of Information requests to the largest, by number of full-time firefighters, UK fire services earlier in 2020, asking for such data as: tyres bought and replaced, the fleet size and vehicle parc, minimum tread depth at change, and whether tyres were regrooved and/or retreaded. The latter is probably the easiest question to answer, as eight fire services told T&A that they do not retread their tyres versus zero who do.
It’s two years since Michelin began merging the Tructyre commercial vehicle tyre and service business it acquired in 2017 with its ATS Euromaster heavy tyre operation. Tructyre reports it is now in the process of removing the ATS logo from its service vans and other branded items in order to create a more unique brand identity. In future, the ATS moniker will only be used in the UK by the Michelin-owned car and van tyre and service specialist, ATS Euromaster.
Nationwide Fleet Services (NFS) has appointed a new national sales manager for the UK and Ireland, with the appointment of 38-year-old Ricky Mitchell to the role national sales manager effective from October 2020.
Michelin has signed a new tyre supply agreement with one of Europe’s largest asset finance, leasing and rental specialists. The tyre manufacturer’s Services & Solutions division will supply all tyres to BNP Paribas Rental Solutions’ UK fleet. It will also fully manage the nationwide fleet of specialist mission-critical vehicles. Its vehicles have individual policies tailored to meet the needs of BNP Paribas Rental Solutions’ customers.
Continuing our series investigating UK Police fleet tyre demand, we looked a little closer at the differences between the various regional forces tyre preferences. Despite the fact that, as we have seen, tyre purchasing is based on a national framework agreement, there was a surprising amount of variety in both tyre policy and what actually happened when the rubber hit the road, so to speak.
During recent weeks and months, the coronavirus lockdown has seen miles-driven figures fall through the floor. However, some fleets don’t stop moving. And, as anyone who has clapped for our carers will tell you, the blue-light services have been as busy as ever. Of course, the medics, police and firefighters rely on tyre technicians to keep them mobile. So, with this in mind, and as part our June magazine’s Fleet Tyre feature, we have been investigating what the blue light fleet’s tyre demand really looks like.
Independent parcel carrier Yodel is rolling out a new generation of tyres designed to maximise the safety and mobility of its delivery vans in all weathers, including on dry, wet, icy and snow-covered roads. The Michelin Agilis CrossClimate tyres will initially be fitted across Yodel’s fleet of 550 Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, directly supporting the firm’s ability to deliver on-time to every UK postcode. Their introduction forms part of a new three-year fully-managed Effitires contract with Michelin, which also covers Yodel’s 1,326 rigid trucks, tractor units and trailers – which will all continue to run on premium Michelin tyres.
At the moment it is easy to get side-tracked by all the talk of the coronavirus. But, while it is clearly an important subject, the tyre business has a century or more of pre-history, has a present and has a future. With this in mind, May’s edition of Tyres & Accessories continues in line with the last eight years of research by counting and ranking the nation’s largest tyre retail chains.
The methodology is simple, we contact companies, consult publicly available sources and use third-party data where necessary in order to triangulate our tyre retail landscape. Of course, the present circumstances may look significantly different due to the nations’ current lockdown status (see “Which Garages are Open During Lockdown“). However, the shape of the tyre retail business before the lockdown will surely help the retail trade strategize for its ongoing future after lockdown, making this data as actionable as ever.
Even emergency vehicles need breakdown assistance, servicing and tyres, and this is one main reason why the government has authorised garages and fast-fits to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. ATS Euromaster confirms that most of its service centres remain open following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, however they ask customers for understanding should prearranged jobs be postponed in order to prioritise emergency fleet work.
After years of expansion amongst the top 20 UK tyre retailers, the latest data shows that this trend peaked in 2017/2018 when the top 20 accounted for 2014 branches. The same 20 tyre retailers had 1980 branches between them in 2018/2019. And what’s more, the reorganisation of one retailer alone accounted for a 40-centre decline in branch count, with the overall figure remaining positive due to growth at other chains. Here Tyres & Accessories analyses the branch count data in the context of 10 years of comparable research.