Oak Tyres is marking 40 years in business – and of consecutive years of “sales growth” in 2020. The independently owned company, which is a founder member of Grouptyre, says that its sustained progress is down to its service-led philosophy: “If we provide a better service than our competitor, great things will happen” – its guiding statement since its establishment in 1980. Today, Oak has become one of the largest independent tyre wholesalers in the UK. It has more than 500,000 sq ft of warehouse space across its Haydock, St Helens, Manchester, Leeds and Tyne and Wear sites. In the last decade in particular, Oak’s distribution of two successful brands from the Far East – Landsail and Evergreen, both exclusively distributed – has supported impressive market penetration for both. Since 2015, Oak has established its own global private tyre brand, Davanti, which at the last count is present in more than 60 countries.
Davanti marked its fifth anniversary with its first international dealer conference at the end of February. The tyre brand hosted more than 150 attendees by Everton Football Club’s Goodison Park, where it’s development director Gary Cross took the opportunity to announce its upcoming products, including range extensions and what might be called the second generation of Davanti tyres given the new naming conventions first introduced in the Wintoura winter tyre and Terratoura all-terrain 4×4 tyre ranges. Davanti sales director for UK and Ireland Sean Maddocks also presented observations on tyre markets, the development of the brand’s global dealer network over the past five years, and its commercial partnerships including the renewal of its official brand partnership with Everton FC.
Davanti Tyres has relaunched its website. The new site offers users more detail, including 4K animations demonstrating its products’ performance characteristics, a new tyre-matching system, and an updated Davanti dealer locator. Visitors can also register for Davanti’s Accidental Damage Guarantee and access exclusive content from Davanti’s partners, including Everton Football Club and the AIA Racing School at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Last winter, extreme cold weather in the UK and Europe caused chaos on and off road, making the increased mobility offered by 4x4s an attractive proposition. It is into this context that Davanti will launch its new Terratoura.
Since launching with the mass-market focused DX390 and high performance DX640 in 2015, UK based Davanti Tyres has developed and tuned its range to target expansion into global markets. Last year the company produced its first winter tyres to increase its ability to access customers in the northern hemisphere, especially those countries with legislation requiring the fitment of cold weather tread. Now, in a press launch event at Millbrook, where development partner Tread has been testing for the brand, Davanti has brought to market another fitment designed to increase its reach into global markets, the all-terrain Terratoura, in 10 initial sizes between 15 and 17 inches.
Davanti has launched its first range of runflat tyres following extensive research and development. The UK based brand spent several years creating a new runflat to “comfortably exceed” ISO-16992 guidelines on runflat performance (that a run flat must be capable of travelling a minimum distance of 50 miles at a speed of 50mph). Davanti adds that it wanted its first runflat to “match or surpass the performance of rival European brands” which have been producing these tyres for decades.
Setting foot inside the entrance of Oak Tyres’ new Newton-le-Willows headquarters, it is clear that the company has made a conscious decision to present a stride forwards in the professionalism of its operations. Renovations to the previously semi-derelict three floor building were taken on as a special project headed by the company’s Gary Cross around 18 months ago; “almost finished” when Tyres & Accessories visited, a strong, corporate aesthetic has been employed, with colours and imagery from the Oak Group’s own Davanti tyre brand, as well as exclusively distributed lines, such as Landsail, added to Oak’s red and greyscale CI.
The long-awaited Davanti winter range will soon be with us. When Tyres & Accessories caught up with the Davanti Tyres team at Tyrexpo Asia, they reported that final testing had been successfully concluded and volume production was scheduled to commence in June. After two years of development, four winter patterns – PCR, UHP, SUV and van – are now ready, with a total of 52 sizes to be released in 2017.
Davanti’s first full year has seen the brand engage in a broad and intensive range of sales and marketing activities, led by a rapid fire trade show appearance schedule. Interest in the brand has been quick to ignite in its UK home market. The company’s management has consistently said the wildfire-like growth of Landsail – distributed by Grouptyre member and Davanti Tyres sister wholesaler Oak Tyres, and manufactured, like all of Davanti’s current products, by Qingdao Sentury Tire – in the UK has not been the focus; according to them Davanti wants to grow in a more controlled, brand-driven manner. So far the company has certainly more than fired a warning shot across the bows of other brands operating in the highly competitive aspirational mid-range sector of the UK market, while Davanti’s recent appointment of European sales director Michael Eckert, formerly of Sailun, Hankook and Michelin in his 21-year career, demonstrates its seriousness about growing into continental Europe. So this was an excellent time for the company to host its first dealer event; a three-day Product Experience trip at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.