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.
For the fourth year in a row, Michelin can be found at the top of Tyres & Accessories’ 2020 UK social media ranking. Indeed, such is Michelin’s dominance in the annual table, only Goodyear (in 2012) and Dunlop (in 2016) have done enough to overtake the UK arm of the French tyre brand since our research began in 2011. In both cases, Michelin still managed to take second place.
On 3 September Amazon said it will create an extra 7,000 UK jobs this year to meet growing demand. Prior to this, the online retail giant had already added 3,000 roles in 2020. So, by the end of the year, it will have created a total of 10,000 new jobs. At the same time, the company has increased its involvement with the tyre market. While online tyre retail is about far more than Amazon, the news reflects increased demand both for online ordering in general and for online tyre sales in particular. But it is not just Amazon that has noticed this trend. Speaking during a webinar in June, GfK analysts highlighted how online tyre buying is increasing as a function of lockdown and the increased take-up of online shopping in general. Their thesis? More tyres will be sold online and the budget tyre sector will be the beneficiary.
This article, including three charts support the analysis, appears in full in the October edition of Tyres & Accessories. Not yet a subscriber? You can change that here.
Birmingham-based The Auto Workshop is going live with CAM software helping the service, maintenance and repair business simplify its booking system and overhaul its stock management and billing process.