In mid-July Colewood Automotive named Chris Higgins as its new finance director. Having been appointed to the role in June, Higgins will now work with the board to “manage and control the companies within the group to ensure financial and regulatory requirements are fulfilled”. Chris Higgins’ career spans over 20 years and includes 12 years as finance director for Kwik-Fit Fleet.
Electric vehicles account for a growing proportion of the UK car parc and will continue to do so in the years to come. This move from combustion power is a thrown gauntlet that garages and vehicle servicing firms need to pick up sooner rather than later, and also a transition that requires a visible investment in charging capabilities.
A coalition of trade associations (including the NTDA) and commercial organisations (including Halfords and Kwik Fit) has been formed to lobby the UK government to uphold “the rights of the independent aftermarket and consumers in the post-Brexit era.” The UK Alliance for the Freedom of Car Repair (AFCAR), which derives its name from the European group of the same name, will primarily lobby on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations (MV-BER), Vehicle Type Approval (including access to Repair & Maintenance Information) and Cybersecurity.
Data released by the UK car industry throughout the pandemic has shown the negative impact of Covid-19 on sales of new and used vehicles, but new research shows the figures could have been worse. A study for Kwik Fit indicates that as 3.8 million drivers said Covid-19 caused them to put off a planned car purchase. However, this was partially offset by the fact that 3.2 million drivers were prompted by the impact of the pandemic to buy a new or used car.
Kwik Fit has taken a look at data published by the government and notes that the pandemic was responsible for an additional quarter of a million cars being taken off UK roads. The automotive servicing and repair company reached this conclusion after comparing the number of vehicles officially off road with a registered SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in the last quarter of 2020 with figures for the final quarter of 2019.
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.
With the launch of Kwik Fit Club membership, the UK’s largest tyre retail has become the latest to offer a tyres-as-a-service style wheel and tyre subscription offer. Initially, the Kwik Fit Club service is being piloted in the North West and Yorkshire regions, with a national roll out to follow this summer.
Kwik Fit Club membership sees drivers pay a monthly subscription which covers all their tyre wear, including repairs and premium tyre replacement, wheel alignment and six-monthly health checks. They also have the option to include their MOT and servicing costs. Drivers can join the programme and keep track of their subscription through an app, and although they can nominate a ‘home garage’, their membership can be used at any of Kwik Fit’s 600-plus centres across the country.
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of a brand that launched an entire automotive sector and today is familiar to every motorist up and down the land. On 16 April 1971 in McDonald Road, Edinburgh, the first ever Kwik Fit centre opened its garage doors to motorists, offering the new concept of ‘fast fit’ services, replacing components while drivers waited.
Kwik Fit is marking its 50th birthday by encouraging people to don their overalls and dancing boots and do the famous ‘Kwik Fit fitter dance’, whilst helping to highlight the increased risk of prostate cancer to men aged over 50.
New research released today (31 March) reveals that the impact of the pandemic has resulted in the average driver reducing their mileage by 42 per cent over the last year. However, there has not been an equivalent drop in the amount of pothole damage to the nation’s vehicles.
Workshop equipment and wheel alignment specialist Pro-Align has appointed a former Kwik Fit branch manager to its sales team. Tom Burkett, a former director and owner of a mobile tyre fitting service and branch manager at Kwik Fit, has been appointed to join the team as a sales executive, covering the Midlands and South Wales region. The Hunter distributor said the addition of Burkett will provide “even greater levels of support to workshops across the country.”
ETEL Group, Kwik Fit and Stapletons Tyre Services tyre retail brands, has made Wagestream available to its 7,000 staff. Wagestream offers a suite of financial education solutions including real-time access to earned pay.