This year’s Commercial Vehicle show at the NEC was a combination of three exhibitions – the SMMT’s CV show, the IRTE Show and Tipcon. No fewer than 579 exhibitors filled 42,500 square metres of floor space. Held over three days, the event attracted a remarkable 22,556 visitors and was generally held to be a great success. The tyre sector was well-represented, with manufacturers, retreaders and service providers, illustrating the importance of the commercial fleet market to tyre companies. Competition in this sector of the tyre business is fierce, with margins consequently depressed. TYRES & ACCESSORIES spoke to ten tyre manufacturers and retreaders at the show and the overwhelming message was that customers were demanding ever-increasing amounts of information and more sophisticated back-up services. The actual product of the tyre, given that it is of an acceptable level of quality in the first place, appears to be of less and less importance in today’s market. An increasing number of fleet customers are looking for a partner to handle every aspect of their tyre policy, from supplying product to carrying out maintenance and servicing breakdowns. How do the smaller companies, which lack the resources of large manufacturers, survive in such an environment? Read the views of the following ten companies in the May issue of TYRES & ACCESSORIES. Bandag, Bandvulc, Bridgestone/Firestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, Marangoni Tread, Michelin, Truck Tyre Specialists and Vacu-Lug.