Kwik Fit and its other ETEL-related brands (Tyre City, Tyre Pros and Central Tyre) have dominated the UK tyre retail landscape for years. More recently, Halfords has made our annual tyre retail ranking a two-horse race. However, Michelin’s ATS Euromaster network remains a significant player and other chains such as the Micheldever- and ultimately Sumitomo-owned Protyre have grown consistently over a long period of time. But none of that tells the whole story. While big chains generate significant levels of value and volume, franchise networks like HiQ and First Stop represent another dimension. And medium-sized chains are often so good at what they do that they end up being bought by larger businesses at a premium. And yet none of that reflects the importance of the vast majority of the market – the independent tyre businesses with one or two centres. That’s why June’s Tyres & Accessories aimed to present a more panoramic view of the undeniably indispensable tyre retail business. Here, T&A presents our annual tyre retail ranking as a way of keeping you informed of the lay of the land in the ever-changing tyre retail landscape.
Tyre recycling and reprocessing specialist Murfitts Industries announced today its intention to form a “unique partnership” with French engineering group ETIA. The aim of this partnership is to deliver commercial-scale solutions for recycling end-of-life tyres to recover their raw material and energy content.
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.