City West Commercials, Mercedes-Benz’s commercial vehicle partner in the South West has launched 24-hour servicing at Avonmouth. With the increasingly hurried nature of the modern working world, more companies are opening later than ever and with that is a growing need for business vehicles to be on the road at all hours of the day. However, until now there has been a lack of service facilities open for extended hours in the region to meet this increasing demand.
After a one-year gap Bandvulc recently held its Key Partner Conference for its dealer network at the prestigious Midland Hotel in Manchester. Famous for a particular historical partnership, the Midland was where Messrs. Rolls and Royce met and agreed to form their company. The conference theme was: Partnerships, loyalty and recognising customers. Company representatives explained that this year’s conference was designed to inform the network of Bandvulc’s performance amongst other things.
Car and van fleets add £19.5 billion to the UK economy each year, according to market research firm Sewells, which released the figure during an industry briefing at a recent Fleet200 quarterly meeting.
The figure is based on an average annual running cost of between £4500 and £6500 per vehicle and a fleet car parc, which is said to be roughly 3 million units in total. Therefore the parc is said to add £19.5 billion annually. Based on commonly held long term averages that suggest cars require one new tyre per car per year, this could also suggest that the fleet parc consumes 3 million tyres a year or a bit under 10 per cent of total annual tyre demand.
Just over six months since the last time Tyres & Accessories met Michel Rzonzef at the Geneva Motor Show, the Goodyear executive has switched segments. When we met before he was vice president of the Consumer Tire Business at Goodyear EMEA. Now he is vice president of Commercial Tires EMEA. So, with the move from consumer to commercial still relatively fresh, T&A took the opportunity to discuss the development and direction of the truck and fleet tyre business with Rzonzef during the course of the recent Goodyear Fleet Symposium in Brussels on 14 October. Henk van Tuyl, Goodyear’s director of regional technology – Heavy Tires EMEA, also joined in with the conversation.
Goodyear Dunlop has won four new lots in the Government Procurement Service RM955 supply and fit of tyres framework agreement. The first of these lots is for the sole supply and fitment of Goodyear and Dunlop tyres to UK Police Forces, while the others deal with wider public sector interests. The contracts will cover cars, trucks and motorcycles.
The world's leading car sharing network Zipcar has entered into a full Michelin tyre contract for its UK fleet. Operating in London, Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford, Zipcar will gradually introduce Michelin tyres across its fleet of 1,800 cars and vans as part of the new agreement. David Cruickshank, head of fleet for Zipcar UK, said: “At Zipcar, we obsess about the member experience and, under this agreement, we can consistently provide our vehicles with a higher quality tyre, so that our members enjoy an even better drive.
In something of a coup for the UK, Michelin chose London as the venue for the global launch of its latest RFID/TPMS truck tyre technology on 19 June. The UK truck tyre business, which has previously been referred to as something of a model for other mature European markets, was selected because it is an area where the French tyre manufacturer is dominant in the truck and especially bus segments. This fact also provided Michelin with a clear opportunity to implement its technology on a large fleet and thereby also demonstrate the performance of its technology to fleets and the market as a whole. Tyres & Accessories visited West Ham Bus Garage in East London to attend the launch of technology and see it in action.
Fraikin UK, a leading vehicle contract hire firm, has started a supply arrangement for its retread tyres and casing management with the Bandvulc Group. The agreement, which sees Bandvulc’s product being used extensively within its operations, is supported by the collection and processing of all used tyres (casings). All of Fraikin’s UK locations will have regular tyre deliveries and collections by Bandvulc’s own fleet of commercial vehicles. Fraikin has used Bandvulc products previously, but only in part whereas this new arrangement is to supply 100 per cent of the Fraikin fleet.
Stoke-based bus and coach operator Bakers Coaches has launched its first hybrid bus service, ahead of its 75th anniversary celebrations in November. The three hybrid buses, which use a Volvo B5 RLH chassis with Wrightbus Gemini bodywork, went into operation on 3 October and will operate under the bakerbus brand – owned by Bakers Coaches. The buses have been purchased primarily to carry students and are used on a dedicated contract with Staffordshire University and London Midland Trains. The low-floor, diesel-electric buses are the greenest, cleanest buses in the county.
Michelin has added another pence per kilometre (PPK) partner to its UK portfolio through signing a three-year contract with petrochemical transport specialist Reynolds Logistics. As part of the deal the Reynolds fleet of 44 tonne Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units and 18 to 26 tonne Axor rigids will be fitted with a range of XZE2+ / XDE2+ tyres, as wear dictates, whilst its Magyar tankers will receive XTE2 and XTE3 trailer tyres.
“With a fleet covering more than three million kilometres a year delivering bulk lubricants, safety is of paramount importance,” commented Ian Williams, fleet operations manager at Reynolds Logistics.
GiTi Tire is looking to increase its market presence in the truck tyre segment by implementing a TBR service network. The company has since 2006 built up a comprehensive truck and bus tyre product portfolio incorporating two premium quality brands – GT Radial and Primewell – both of which have been QS9000, ISO9001 and TS16949 accredited and are specifically designed and manufactured to meet the ever-changing demands of today’s European commercial vehicle operators. The entire TBR range is carefully selected to ensure the correct pattern is available for each application: regional, long haul, mixed service or municipal. In fact, such is the growth of the company’s sales presence in both TBR and PCR that two strategic business units have been formed to cope with the demand.
Goodyear Dunlop has announced that it will work in partnership with the National Policing Improvement Agency, making it the main supplier of tyres to over 50 Police forces in the country. The announcement names Goodyear Dunlop as the exclusive tyre framework supplier and service provider and will see over 100,000 Goodyear Dunlop tyres fitted to police vehicles, including patrol cars, motorcycles and public order vans, each year for the next two years. The deal covers the country’s 52 constabularies located throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
GITI Tire Europe staff characterised the company’s CV show presence as the UK-debut of the manufacturer’s electronic fleet management system. However, it also forms part of a wider programme of increased market visibility, culminating in investment in another show stand at the key Reifen show in Essen, Germany later this month.
When, towards the end of 2007, GITI Tire booked its stand for this year’s CV show, company representatives told Tyres & Accessories that GITI Europe has invested a “significant amount” in publicising the company’s ever-increasing range of truck and bus tyres at the show. The decision to place the booth right opposite the Michelin and ATS Euromaster stands, and a short walk from the Continental and Bridgestone spaces certainly did not go unnoticed. And while every company T&A spoke to had a handful of reasons why they shouldn’t fear any new competition, it is clear that many were surprised at the range and depth of the programme the Chinese manufacturer had on offer.
ATS Euromaster has secured one of the largest tyre supply and management contracts awarded in 2006 after winning a three year deal with Fraikin. The contract includes the majority of the 14,000 vehicles under Fraikin’s management, ranging from small vans and rigids to 44 tonne tractor units and trailers. ATS Euromaster secured the contract – estimated to be worth approximately £3 million a year – after carrying out a complete review of Fraikin’s requirements.