Bridgestone has promoted Daniel Giroud to chief sales officer (CSO), Bridgestone EMIA, after Riccardo Cichi leaves the role on 16 March after three years in the position. Giroud is currently VP retail operations, Bridgestone EMIA, and CEO and president of First Stop Europe. Cichi is joining Bridgestone North America as CSO after three years in EMIA.
Kevin Nicks, Guinness world record holder and creator of the world’s fastest Shed, has partnered with First Stop. Amongst other things the partnership involves the placing a First Stop hoarding on the front of the Shed.
Bridgestone tyre retail network First Stop has announced that, as of 2020, First Stop UK has joined the NTDA in its own right. It is the first time First Stop UK has joined the NTDA. As a result of its membership, First Stop is including NTDA membership as part of its new value proposition.
First Stop has recruited Mark Widdows to the senior position of UK retail network manager after working with Goodyear Dunlop for 20 years, where he latterly served as national franchise manager for the HiQ network. The recruitment is seen as a statement of intent, as First Stop aims to grow its network and position itself as a major player in the fast-fit sector.
The First Stop network has appointed Brenden Marais as south region retail business consultant. Marais previously held roles at Euro Car Parts (general manager and operations manager over the past six years) and The Parts Alliance (account manager).
Bridgestone has bought all the shares of ETB. ETB – otherwise known as Exhaust Tyres Batteries and Britannia Tyres – runs 32 different locations, with 265 employees assisting more than 10,000 customers a month. The news follows the sale of Bridgestone’s Kingsway tyre retail business in the East England to Lodge Tyre in September 2017. More widely, Bridgestone has been behind a series of high-profile tyre retail acquisitions across the major European tyre markets.
Both ETB and Britannia Tyres will continue operating under their current identities and with their current team, with founder Charles Ivill continuing to direct operations from the ETB company headquarters in Worcester.
The extension of First Stop’s fast fit network has continued to accelerate with the addition of Uncle Tom’s Motorist Centre. The Harlow based garage’s owner Laurence Nicholls has 45 years of experience, making Uncle Tom’s a mainstay in the community. He said the decision to become a First Stop partner would enable his business to continue improving and adding more strings to its bow.
First Stop has appointed Nic Bentley as its new retail business consultant. Bentley promises the national network will back “entrepreneurial” independent garages. He arrives in the role having gained an understanding of First Stop through his time as a key account manager at Euro Car Parts, where he built up a partnership between the two companies. Bentley has more than 20 years’ experience in the automotive industry, following additional roles with Unipart and also Castrol.
First Stop has added a new outlet in Taunton, as automotive equipment supplier Hickleys joins the fast fit network. After growing to a total of 72 centres by the end of 2016, First Stop is continuing to evolve and expand via a new approach to recruitment. First Stop’s retail business consultant Ollie Turpie is targeting businesses not currently boasting a tyre retail arm. Hickleys, based in Castle Street, offers a broad range of automotive solutions, from diagnostic equipment right through to heating and air conditioning installations.
Sigmavision has announced the findings of a recent survey conducted in collaboration with Bridgestone and First Stop at the recent Sky Sports British Masters golf event. The company’s technicians surveyed 2,400 cars over two days away from the fairways and greens at The Grove, measuring tyre tread depths with Sigmavision’s TreadReader handheld scanners. The results of the survey back up Bridgestone’s hypothesis that motorists currently do not make the regular checks necessary to ensure their tyres are safe.
First Stop has agreed a new association with synthetic motor oil brand ExxonMobil, which will position its network of independent garages as ‘Mobil 1 workshops’. This agreement will entitle First Stop branches to high profile sales promotions. A dedicated account manager will work with First Stop garages, aiming to help improve customer retention and the generation of new business through brand ambassadorship.
A week ago we reported Bridgestone’s plan to roll its First Stop tyre retail operation in Germany into a joint venture, with a 75 per cent share in this operation to be acquired by independent retailer Pneuhage. News of this pending ownership restructure has been accompanied by a change in leadership of the national First Stop network, however the two events are not related. Frank Fuhrmann, who held the post of managing director for First Stop in the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland since 1 September 2015, has been succeeded in this role by Daniel Giroud, Bridgestone Europe’s vice-president of retail operations.
Just over a month after sharing details of growth plans for its First Stop network in the UK, Bridgestone has announced a major change in its German First Stop network. Pending approval from the relevant authorities, Pneuhage, one of the country’s largest independent tyre retailers, will acquire a 75 per cent share in a joint venture with Bridgestone Deutschland. The intention is for First Stop in Germany and its subsidiaries – retail outlets, retreading operation and partner network – to be operated by this joint venture.