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, 4×4 and light truck tyre segments. Tyrepress understands that certain car and SUV sizes of Giti Tire’s 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 Micheldever’s inventory in 10 such sizes in 2018.
Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) has appointed Graham Mitchell as its new wholesale director. Mitchell will take over the key strategic role following Alan Baldwin’s retirement, scheduled for November. In a 17-year career in the tyre industry, Mitchell has acquired extensive experience across both UK and European markets. He joins MTS from Cooper Tire, where he held senior management roles that included sales director for UK and Western Europe and UK and Northern Europe sales director.
Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) and Toyo Tires have signed a new three-year UK distribution contract. The wholesaler states that it has shown strong sales performance with the Toyo brand recently, and the new deal will help to showcase the solidity of the partnership.
Giti Tire has presented its three-year development programme for its GT Radial brand to key dealers, including UK distributor Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS). The annual PCR European Marketing Council, held in Austria, was attended by customers from across the continent. It looked at current market conditions, future trends, product development and marketing direction, including the brand proposition across advertising, point-of-sale and online activities, comprising the brand website and social media.
On 5 January, Micheldever announced that it was being purchased by Sumitomo Rubber Industries of Japan (the company behind Falken, one of Micheldever’s key exclusive brands). While it was no surprise that the business had been sold, the idea that Sumitomo would be the successful bidder was not widely foreseen. With Micheldever having grown into a leading position in the UK wholesale sector with a multi-brand, independent retailer-focused strategy, the acquisition raises many questions for the business’s staff, suppliers and customers. With this in mind, a week after Sumitomo’s purchase Tyres & Accessories met with Micheldever managing director, Duncan Wilkes; wholesale director, Alan Baldwin; and wholesale marketing manager Rory Carlin to find out more about the background to the deal.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ (SRI) £215 million acquisition of the Micheldever Group from Graphite Capital, including Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), the UK’s second largest distributor of tyres, “ensures continuity” of the management and multi-segment brand strategy, according to MTS chief executive Duncan Wilkes. The move also extends the trend of tyre manufacturers buying into – or indeed buying back into – retail through the acquisition of the UK’s largest chains. In April 2016, Tyres & Accessories pointed out that Micheldever’s Protyre chain was the largest growing in the annual survey of the market’s retail landscape – a factor that will have informed the purchase – and three of the top five (Michelin’s ATS Euromaster and Goodyear Dunlop’s HiQ franchise chain) are now manufacturer controlled.
Duncan Wilkes, CEO of Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd, has spoken out against government proposals to extend the time until the first MOT, calling such a move “a backwards step for road safety and a false economy.”
Speaking a week after the chancellor of the Exchequer referred the MOT proposal in his annual budget, Wilkes said: “It is incorrect to assume the test is irrelevant for new cars: Vosa’s own data indicates that 20 per cent of three-year-old cars fail their MOT tests. This means that moving the first test to four years would result in an extra half a million unsafe cars on UK roads.”
Micheldever Tyre Services says it will “begin the biggest period of expansion in its 43 year history” this year, with a large expansion of its Protyre retail network planned over the next 18 months. The wholesaler posted revenues exceeding £322m last year, selling 6 million tyres through 8,500 fast fit centres – including its own Protyre branded retail sites. Current low-end estimates could put this figure at around one in every five tyres replaced by UK motorists.
Further to the Heads of Agreement signed last October, Kumho Tyre (UK) and Micheldever Tyre Services have announced their agreement to a new three-year contract with immediate effect. The contract confirms that MTS will continue to support and grow the existing Kumho Ecsta Performance Centre (EPC) network of independent retailers. In turn, Kumho will build and serve a complementary network of EPCs via its new warehouse facility in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. Both networks will operate on a common platform based on the long-standing approach.