Goodyear’s HiQ fast fit network has launched its HiQ2U mobile tyre fitting service across the Midlands. This service is now available across the Midlands from Coventry to Birmingham and includes the surrounding areas. Motorists can receive tyres and tyre fitting services at their doorstep between 7:00am and 7:00pm Monday to Friday and between 8:30am and 12:30pm on Saturdays.
With a pandemic, an MOT extension and three lockdowns to contend with, describing the last year as “difficult” would be an understatement. Nevertheless, tyre retailers have demonstrated that they are not only key workers essential to keeping the British Isles rolling, but also versatile and resilient businesspeople during the last 12 months. A quick look at the top 25 UK tyre retail chains 2021 table reveals that it has been a more eventful year than normal in terms of branch openings and closings, but overall the clear message is one of consolidation. As a result, the top 25 UK tyre retail chains wield more power than ever. Specifically, the top 25 now run 2528 branches between them. When our coverage of this area began back at the end of the 2008/2009 tax year, the figure was 1978. During the interim, the rough estimate for the total number of tyre retailers national has stayed stable at around 10,000 specialists (that number is roughly double that if you include general garages). This means the top 25 occupy roughly 25 per cent of the number of branches, up 6 percentage points since 2009.
HiQ has started to roll-out enhanced customer experiences across its network of 108 branches following a recent brand re-vamp announced on 18 March 2021. According to the company, the design elements support HiQ’s core values of honesty, value and trust. The modular approach supports multiple retail formats from large to small.
HiQ announced that the tyre retail franchise network has welcomed Reg Gray of Triangle Cars, Havant “to the Goodyear Tyres family”.
As part of the garage’s transition to the HiQ network, the Havant location underwent a significant visual upgrade.
Pilgrim Tyres Plymouth is rebranding its premises after leaving the HiQ network and joining First Stop Tyres & Car Services. Describing the transition as “an ambitious decision”, company representatives said:
First Stop Tyre & Car Services has appointed Nikki McCluney as its new marketing manager.
Formerly HiQ’s marketing manager, McCluney brings with her over 25 years marketing experience across automotive, fast fit and retail brands having previously worked for Goodyear Dunlop, Maxxis Tyres and Halfords. Indeed, she played a key role at the HiQ rebrand while at Goodyear Dunlop in 2007 and launched the chain’s concept store while in the role.
We’ve all had to adapt during the corona-crisis and lockdown. For many tyre retailers it has meant agonising decisions relating to either staying opening or shutting down. But some have found a middle way – mobile tyre fitting.
During our recent “Kick-starting your tyre business” Tyrepress webinar, Craig Sprigmore, retail director of HiQ; Graham Mitchell, wholesale director of Micheldever Tyre Services; Noel Pope, managing director of Merityre; and John Stone, founder and managing director of Stone Tyres discussed the role of mobile fitting in helping tyre businesses adapt to the new normal.
Continuing our series investigating UK Police fleet tyre demand, we looked a little closer at the differences between the various regional forces tyre preferences. Despite the fact that, as we have seen, tyre purchasing is based on a national framework agreement, there was a surprising amount of variety in both tyre policy and what actually happened when the rubber hit the road, so to speak.
During recent weeks and months, the coronavirus lockdown has seen miles-driven figures fall through the floor. However, some fleets don’t stop moving. And, as anyone who has clapped for our carers will tell you, the blue-light services have been as busy as ever. Of course, the medics, police and firefighters rely on tyre technicians to keep them mobile. So, with this in mind, and as part our June magazine’s Fleet Tyre feature, we have been investigating what the blue light fleet’s tyre demand really looks like.
Tyre distributors from across the country have come together to support the restarting of the tyre trade. Large and small retailers from St Helens to the South East worked together to produce the inaugural Tyrepress webinar entitled “Kick-starting your tyre business’.
Following the news that Goodyear has bought one of its largest and longest-established HiQ franchisees, Easy Tyre and Autocare, Tyrepress got in touch with executives in order to find out more. For example, how much money changed hands? And, considering the latest purchase is the second acquisition of its kind, is Goodyear planning to go full-circle with retail ownership? The short answer is no. But a Goodyear/HiQ spokesperson did say “the acquisition of Easy Tyre and Autocentres further strengthens the competitive advantage of Goodyear and HiQ”, adding:
Goodyear Tyres UK Limited has acquired Easy Tyre and Autocentres, which runs 17 HiQ branches as a franchisee.
Easy Tyre and Autocentres’ branches span from Telford to Kettering, in a geographical area with a high value car parc and, according to Goodyear, represent the “second step” in the company’s ongoing retail strategy. All sites will become Goodyear’s equity operating under the HiQ brand going forward.
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.