Phil May, owner of Strood based RM Tyres, passed the million-pound milestone at the end of February, the peak of 12 months during which his company has seen an unprecedented increase in online sales. For all of the tyre sales processed by RM Tyres through TyreClick, 28 per cent have come in the past 12 months, an indication of the surge in consumers opting to buy their tyres online.
Online tyre retailers Tirebuyer and Tirescanner have merged to create a new Tirebuyer.com that will be led by president and CEO Michael Welch OBE, who formerly founded Blackcircles and then Tirescanner. ATD (American Tire Distributors), Tirebuyer’s parent company, is the largest tyre distributor in the world. The new Tirebuyer will operate over 11,000 installer partner locations across the USA. According to the company, Tirebuyer sales day one are in the high eight-figure range. “We expect to climb sales to multiple nine figures over the coming years”. There is even talk of hitting the billion-dollar turnover mark.
Motorcycle and specialist tyre distributor Bickers will launch a new Click & Collect website on 10 March. The company said it has developed the site to help its motorcycle tyre customers gain online sales. It will promote Click & Collect to consumers as a way to drive footfall to dealers’ shops. Bickers wants to develop its Click & Collect Partner network with the new site too. It says the new site will help participating partners to increase profits, promote growth opportunities, to network and upsell additional items. Backing its new site, Bickers adds that Office for National Statistics data shows retail online purchases have increased by 42 per cent in 2020 over 2019. This big jump is an effect of national and regional lockdowns to combat the pandemic, but also follows the long-term retail trend towards online purchases.
PCL has integrated its ecommerce and distributor portal into its pclairtechnology.com website. Distributors and end users will now have a single point of online access to PCL’s products, news, information, account management and order entry services. According to the company, the enhanced website has been updated for convenience and ease of use.
Autodata has launched a version of its e-commerce website in the Romanian language. Autodata is an e-commerce technical solution for body shops around the world. In addition to the platform, it is also available as an API, and provides comprehensive Original Equipment (OE) sourced technical information for the service, maintenance, diagnostics, and repair of 90 per cent of vehicles on the road in Romania.
One of the most pronounced effects of the pandemic on the tyre retail business has been the uptick in online and mobile tyre business. RubberHub, a Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) project originating in Canada, launched its beta product in 2019 and went fully goes fully live this month (February 2020), with followers and test users already hailing from around Canada, the USA and the UK. Tyres & Accessories found out more from RubberHub Inc. president and founder, David Mulensteen.
Independent garages across the UK are valuing the benefits of a web-based Garage Management System more than ever before, say workshop management specialists TechMan. Remote access to business data from any device, has long been enjoyed by workshops using TechMan but never has productivity been more essential for busy garages than during the ongoing pandemic.
Continental has expanded ContiOnlineContact digital online dealer portal to include OTR and agricultural tyres. Continental reports that the portal now lists the entire Off-The-Road (OTR) and agricultural tyre portfolio.
TecAlliance has added Instant Data Processing (IDP) in order to update TecDoc data in real time. According to the company, this increases flexibility and shortens the time to market for data suppliers and receivers. TecAlliance says IDP will be available “early in 2021”.
ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a group of technology companies providing software solutions, has acquired Garage Data Systems (GDS). GDS creates business software for motor trade professionals across the UK and Ireland. This deal represents the 23rd company acquired by ClearCourse, and the first in the motor industry. No financial terms of the acquisition have been released.
Online car parts business Autodoc is reporting sales of 600 million euros in the first three quarters of 2020, up 40 per cent compared to the same period last year. In 2019, the company’s revenue between January and September amounted to a total of 434 million euros. Autodoc chief executive Alexej Erdle has now set his sights on the previously announced sales target of 800 million euros by the end of the year, up from 615 million euros in 2019.
Goodyear has launched an enhanced version of its eJob automated fleet inspection tool. From a fleet perspective, eJob offers full transparency of all maintenance and fleet inspections carried out, visible within seconds of job submission, from anywhere in Europe. The application is designed to support Goodyear FleetOnlineSolutions (FOS). According to the company, the new advanced platform provides fleets and tyre dealers managing fleets full overview including all vehicles, their location, applied tyre policy and agreed terms as well as warranty.
No-one envisioned just how many challenges the tyre market would have to face this year. As has generally been the case, the trade rose to the occasion by repeatedly pivoting to adjust to mid-pandemic customer demands and government requirements. At the bricks and mortar end of the business this has meant ensuring premises are Covid-secure and there are continuing supplies of PPE – as well as maintaining high standards of tyre service and supply. However, this year has also significantly closed the gap between exclusively conventional bricks and mortar tyre retail businesses and pure play tyre e-tailers, with consumers increasingly planning tyre purchases and looking for contactless servicing options online.
As Tyres & Accessories annual global social media ranking enters its seventh edition, this year there is a new winner. Last year’s champion, Pirelli, has fallen two places to third position. At the same time, Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ Falken brand rose an impressive eight positions to take the top spot. And Pirelli wasn’t the only well-known name to downshift, with two other brands taking retrograde steps. At the same time, in a reflection of what has taken place in the UK-only ranking, the top 10 has a new entry, with previously 10th-ranked MRF being overtaken by another large Indian tyremaker.