Giti Tire, the manufacturer of the GT Radial and Runway tyre brands has signed another exclusive distribution agreement with UK wholesaler Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS). The new four-year deal, which covers passenger car, SUV, 4×4 and light truck tyre segments in the UK and Republic of Ireland replacement markets, will run until 2026. The partnership commenced in 2010, meaning the latest EDA will take the relationship between the companies to 16 years. MTS has agreed to continue the expansion of the GT Radial Performance Centres (GTPCs) dealer programme, while jointly promoting Runway across its larger independent network. The distributor will also remain closely involved in product development.
Bleak economic circumstances generally create brand strategy complications within tyre distribution. Drivers’ demand for lower priced tyres as cost-of-living pressures hit their pockets can alter the dynamics at play in wholesalers’ exclusive brand offerings, which are often pitched as premiumised products with additional benefits that make paying more than a budget price worthwhile. Yet down markets are also a time to build for the future, sowing seeds that will yield benefits when the outlook brightens. In the case of Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), a new-build warehouse in Scotland to support its business growth north of the border and a newly added exclusive distribution deal with Petlas are two ways in which the company is building for the future and managing the current market situation. Tyres & Accessories asked Graham Mitchell, MTS wholesale director, about its exclusive brands, which also include parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ Falken Tyres, General Tire, and GT Radial, as well as the development of its warehouse in Bellshill, Scotland.
Micheldever Tyre Services’ new Scottish warehouse is being fitted out with a racking solution from the Polish supplier Arcom, continuing a long-standing cooperation between the companies. The facility in Bellshill, Scotland, near Airdrie in the east of Glasgow, is the latest in a series of joint projects between MTS and Arcom; MTS has chosen a proven and versatile rack for vertical, horizontal, and column storage that can be stacked up to 9 metres high. The AR03 MIX is largely suitable for passenger car tyres, while AR04 pallets are being employed as a supplement for storing SUV tyres up to 80cm in diameter. With this combination, the warehouse can be adapted easily to changing goods and the number of stored tyres. In case of no demand for some pallets, they can be easily disassembled, folded, and transported elsewhere.
With manufacturers taking various strategies to achieve electric vehicle tyre growth, there is an opportunity for distributors to support tyre retailers in building consumer understanding of this still-new segment of the tyre market. It is arguably more important than ever that the leaps forward in EV tyre product development be supported by a well-informed distribution chain. Having assisted with EV tyre workshops and training sessions over the past two years, Graham Mitchell, Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) wholesale director, updates Tyres & Accessories on its latest support for EV tyres, as well as its latest product range and view of the developing market.
While the all-season tyre market in the UK has started its ascent from a low base, it remains the fastest growing consumer car tyre segment. The trend has been supported by the last five years of manufacturers’ all-season product development, which have reduced the compromises involved in fitting a tyre capable of performing well in moderate winter weather conditions all year round. Leading independent UK tyre wholesaler Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) has been strengthening its all-season range with exclusive brands, including the new all-season tyres from its owner Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ global flagship brand Falken and long-term MTS partner GT Radial, the recent addition of Turkish brand Petlas to its line-up, and further product additions from brands such as Runway and Ovation. MTS wholesale director Graham Mitchell tells Tyres & Accessories about how the wholesaler views the all-season (and winter) tyre segment in the UK, as well as the company’s plans to support its dealer network with the increased interest in these adaptable products.
With the opening of a new distribution centre in Ballymena, Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) anticipates much swifter tyre deliveries to garages in Northern Ireland. The facility is located at the site of the former Michelin tyre plant, which closed in 2018, and will create up to 16 new jobs by the end of the year.
UK truck tyre sales for Falken Tyres have increased significantly during the past 12 months, according to the Sumitomo Rubber Industries brand and its distributor Micheldever Tyre Services. In 2022, Falken sold more than 8,000 more tyres in the UK market than it did during 2021. During 2022, Falken’s RI 151, BI 856 and GI 368 proved to be the bestsellers among its portfolio of customers, managed by MTS retail chain Protyre. The 2022 increase has also supported Micheldever and Protyre’s UK truck tyre sales, with “significant” year-on-year growth since 2020 and an overall increase of 350 per cent since 2018.
A freshly-signed agreement sees Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) become the exclusive UK distributor for Petlas passenger car, 4×4 and light truck tyres. Petlas is the third exclusive brand MTS has taken on since its acquisition by Sumitomo Rubber Industries in 2017
Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) reports that it is continuing to invest in e-commerce solutions that benefit their tyre retailer network, with its dedicated tyre selling website, TyreClick, providing a “key platform for online success”. MTS investments include development of the TyreClick site and investment in third-party expertise, such as Strategic Q, to help enhance Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Micheldever Tyre Services and Giti Tire gave UK GT Radial Performance Centre (GTPC) dealers the opportunity to test the brand’s latest tyres to the limit during their recent Ride and Drive event in Portimão, Portugal. Held at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit at the start of September, dealers were able to drive on the celebrated race track on the GT Radial SportActive 2 ultra-high performance tyre, as well as testing the handling and off-road capabilities respectively of the brand’s FE2 and Savero SUV.
Falken’s latest cold weather tyre offering is set to make its UK market debut this winter in September. Two specifications will be available: the Eurowinter HS02 and HS02 Pro. Both tyres represent the next generation of Falken’s cold-weather range. They offer significant improvements over their predecessor, the HS01, according to the manufacturer.
Following the return of the in-person day conference on 7 July, TyreSafe announced the winners of the 2022 TyreSafe Awards during the evening’s awards dinner. The awards are TyreSafe’s leading event of the year and highlight “the outstanding work that goes on across the UK to educate the driving public about tyre safety”. After a two-year hiatus, TyreSafe representatives say they were “delighted to once again be able to unite leading names in road safety and tyre safety champions, to celebrate the achievements of our award nominees”.
Tradition-rich tyre brand with an American heritage, General Tire is extending its range of tyres suitable for light commercial on and off-road use. Vans are used in a variety of scenarios and terrains, General says, which is why it is important to choose the right tyre for the job. Leading the brand’s range for this segment in the newly introduced size 235/65R16C 121/119R Grabber AT3, which it calls “the first true all-terrain tyre available for vans.” General Tire 4×4 tyres are available exclusively through Micheldever Tyre Services in the UK.
Giti Tire has added 28 new sizes to its GT Radial SportActive 2 ultra-high performance tyre range. Fitting rims sized between 16 and 21 inches, the tyre is now available in 42 fitments for cars and SUVs. Some SUV sizes carry a specific SUV marking on their sidewall to indicate their suitability for this fitment, Giti adds. While the eponymous Giti brand is growing in European markets, GT Radial continues to be the manufacturer’s most important brand in the UK, receiving substantial backing from exclusive distributer Micheldever Tyre Services. The latest support for its flagship car tyre product was announced from Stand B030-C039 in Hall 7 at The Tire Cologne, Koelnmesse, which continues until 26 May.
Following Micheldever Tyres Services (MTS) establishment of Micheldever Fleet Solution fleet tyre operation a year ago, the company has developed both the depth and scale of its fleet tyre offering. One example of the practical application of MFS’s offering can be found in Auto Windscreen fleet. Shaun Atton, Auto Windscreens’ Head of Fleet and Facilities. Atton, who manages Auto Windscreens’ 354-strong fleet of vehicles across 64 UK sites, shared how the fleet support services provided by MFS work to bring “peace of mind” to the business: