Times have been tough in the last couple of years, but if the growth of the top 25 tyre retailers in the UK is anything to go by, the nation’s leading tyre retail businesses are taking triumph from adversity. Of course, Halfords’ acquisition of National Tyres and Autocare’s parent company at the end of 2021 makes up a big part of the new UK tyre retail landscape, but it is clear that adding branches to existing networks (either by organic growth or by acquisition) is a common theme across the board.
European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL) has announced that CEO Shinjiro (Sean) Tanaka is taking on a new role as group chairman. Replacing him as CEO is Yutaka Kimbara, who is currently group director of the Europe & CIS General Products & Realty Group of Itochu Europe PLC, which is part of ETEL’s parent company Itochu Corp. of Japan.
Itochu’s European Tyre Enterprises Ltd (ETEL) business, which owns Kwik-Fit, Stapleton’s and now Murfitts Industries, posted a loss of 3.6 billion yen (£22.97 million; 27.54 million euros; US$31.55 million) for the financial year ended 31 March 2021. According to Itochu’s annual report, which was published on 17 December 2021, ETEL will return to break-even in full-year 2022 results.
European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL), which owns leading tyre retail and wholesale operations Kwik-Fit and Stapleton’s, has agreed the acquisition of Murfitts Industries, the country’s leading tyre recycling company. ETEL is buying 100 per cent of Murfitts Group Ltd, the parent company of Murfitts Industries. Murfitts operates a national network recycling the equivalent of around 20 million car tyres per year. Murfitts, which processes and recycles tyres into granulate, has been a long-term provider of post-consumer tyre collection and recycling services to ETEL.
European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL), which owns both Kwik Fit and Stapleton’s, will rebrand 60 of its Tyre City retail centres as either Kwik Fit or STS Tyre Pros as the company focuses on those two retail channels. According to the company, the decision follows a strategic review over the last few months, which found that ETEL should “simplify its retail operations and operate under two brands, Kwik Fit and STS Tyre Pros”. The transition of the centres to their new brands has begun and will continue over the coming weeks.
On 6 May 2021 Yokohama Europe GmbH, signed an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Poland’s ITR CEE Spółka z.o.o., a wholesale distributor engaged in the import and sale of Yokohama tyres in central and eastern Europe. The acquisition is scheduled to be concluded on 14 May 2021, after which the Polish company’s name will be changed to Yokohama CEE Spółka z.o.o.
ETEL Group, Kwik Fit and Stapletons Tyre Services tyre retail brands, has made Wagestream available to its 7,000 staff. Wagestream offers a suite of financial education solutions including real-time access to earned pay.
The UK’s largest tyre retailer, Kwik Fit, is being prepared for a sale. The Japanese Itochu group, which owns the European Tyre Enterprises Ltd (ETEL) holding company that controls both Kwik Fit and its wholesale counterpart Stapleton’s Tyre Services, has appointed investment bankers Nomura to advise on strategic options for the company, according to Sky News, with insiders suggesting a sale is very likely.
Central Tyre has appointed former Pirelli and Prometeon sales manager Alex Whittle as sales director. In his new role, Whittle will be responsible for all sales operations across the car, van, truck, industrial and agricultural sectors. His appointment follows a successful growth period within the UK market, according to Central. Central Tyre is part of the UK’s leading ETEL group of tyre retailers, alongside Kwik-Fit and STS Tyre Pros.
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.
European Tyre Enterprise Limited (ETEL) has promoted Mark Slade, managing director of Kwik Fit GB, to the new position of ETEL Group Deputy CEO. Slade will continue in his role leading Kwik Fit, but will also take on additional group responsibilities as part of a broader remit.