The largest UK tyre wholesaler, Stapleton’s has long acknowledged the SUV/4×4 sector’s ability to transcend other segments with steady upward performance against a particularly volatile background. While a global rise in raw materials prices and post-referendum inflation are taking a toll on the UK, Stapleton’s notes the internationalism of the industry means the impact will be considerable, because where the car industry goes the tyre industry must inevitably follow.
On 4 September Continental celebrated 20 years since the firm’s Puchov, Slovakia truck tyre plant became part of the company. A special event was hosted at the plant by Ladislav Rosina, Plant Manager Continental Matador Truck Tires s.r.o., with the participation of the management of the Tire Division, the local leaders and employees who remembered together the achievements of the local team. Since then, manufacturing upgrade investments of over 630 million euros have been made, resulting in an almost ten-fold increase in production volume to around 2.9 million tyres. During the same period the team has almost quadrupled.
Stapleton’s wholesale director Nigel O’Hara states that it has built its high performance tyre range to fit in with the somewhat counter-intuitive growth of the sector in turbulent macro-economic times.
The UK’s largest wholesaler, Stapleton’s acknowledges this growing interest in SUV tyres while adding that uncertainty in our domestic market as inflation rises, sluggish growth, and the reduced value of the pound are adding to the case for cheaper products in the SUV/4×4 segment. The wholesaler backs up Goodyear’s point that the current market has been good for premium brands, with demand for such products strong in the SUV/4×4 segment.
In any sphere of driving, from motorsports to day-to-day motoring, peak performance doesn’t come cheap – and that goes for the tyres as much as for the vehicles themselves. After all, when you’ve invested in a prestige, state of the art vehicle you won’t want to sully its perfection with tyres that are in any way inferior to those fitted as original equipment – especially since they’re the parts transmitting your vehicle’s raw power to the tarmac and turn it into adrenaline and acceleration.
Almost 10 years on from the trauma of the global ‘credit crunch’ and we’re still not entirely free of the economic aftershock. The resulting times of austerity have made for tough competition for every pound in the motorist’s pocket – and the forecasts suggest even more tough times ahead. In a trade as utterly international as the tyre industry the outcome of the 23 June referendum on the EU was always going to have profound effects – and the marginal victory for the Brexit side predictably has caused dramatic weakening of the pound against both the Euro and the dollar.
Stapleton’s states that it has for several years engaged in expansion, rationalisation and consolidation of its nationwide distribution operation. As a result, the wholesaler says its new regional hubs and larger delivery fleet are yielding advantages for retailer customers. Wholesale director Nigel O’Hara said the company’s “constant focus on our retailers’ individual needs… sets us apart.” The company’s recent efforts have been in translating the benefits of being a national distribution operation to “real competitive benefits” on a local and personal basis.”
At the start of the year, the British car industry revelled in optimism that an all-time vehicle production record would be achieved by 2020 in the UK. The 900,000 cars rolling off the UK’s production lines in the first half 2016 – a sixteen-year high and 13 per cent up on the same portion of 2015 – gave more reason to be hailing this new dawn, and while a significant measure of doubt was added by Brexit, the figures suggest that the growth has come with premiumisation and a sustained boom in SUV manufacturing. High-end marques such as Range Rover drive this new demand and have made the UK Europe’s second biggest premium car producer. In 2010, the premium sector accounted for just 34 per cent of UK production; should trends continue, by 2020 this figure is expected to hit 54 per cent, with SUV and 4×4 models a big part of this.
The Matador truck and bus tyre portfolio has been extended with additional size options within the HR4 range. Both the steer axle F HR4 and the drive axle D HR4 lines now include a 315/70 R22.5 fitment in addition to the size 315/80 R 22.5 tyres introduced last year. The tyre maker comments that both rolling resistance-optimised tyres offer optimal control on all road surfaces and are an affordable solution for trucks and buses engaged in regional and motorway operations.
Leading national wholesaler Stapleton’s Tyre Services reports that, while the company stocks all the best known brands, in recent years “some excellent alternatives of HP and UHP have been introduced into Stapleton’s stable”. This applies across all price point, but – say company representatives – retailers’ wishes steers the development of the company’s UHP tyre offering.
Kings Road Tyres (KRT) has added three new sizes to its exclusive Blacklion range of products for the haulage sector. New for 2016 are the BT165 and BD175 steer and drive axle tyres, available in popular sizes 295/80R22.5, 315/80R22.5 and 315/70R22.5.
Leading wholesaler offers multiple SUV/4×4 options Stapleton’s is offering to help retailers get up to speed for what the wholesaler believes will be an “SUV/4×4 tyres bonanza”. Their optimism is based on the fact that, after the turn of the New Year, the British motor industry announced that it is accelerating towards an all-time record […]
Stapleton’s has restated its commitment to the constant development of its passenger car tyre offering. “What we’re incessantly asking ourselves is ‘who exactly are we doing all this for?’” says Nigel O’Hara, Stapleton’s wholesale director. “And the answer is, that everything we do is for our retail partners first and foremost – and by extension […]
Stapleton’s says its own extensive delivery fleet has informed its approach to the van and light commercial vehicle market; from the large fleet manager to the man in a van, a van off the road is a van that is losing money. The tyre wholesaler states that the cost and potential damage to customer relations of a van being out of action means the retailer needs to offer the right tyre quickly.
Stapleton’s investment in recent years has been focused on its nationwide distribution operation – including new regional hubs and a larger delivery fleet – the wholesaler said. “It’s all been in response to the retailers’ needs – and we’re gratified by their response to the flexible and responsive operation we’ve created, with faster and more frequent deliveries,” comments Nigel O’Hara, Stapleton’s wholesale director. Retailer feedback has confirmed Stapleton’s customers want to stock a variety of tyre solutions at every price point, but especially in the fiercely competitive mid-market sector. The wholesaler has a range of exclusive brands in this segment, including Maxxis, Nexen, Matador, Event and Riken.