Giti Tire has added 15 independent garages to its GT Radial Performance Centre (GTPC) network. The new dealers were welcomed to the network during the company’s new dealer training events at Horiba Mira, hosted in partnership with exclusive UK distributor Micheldever Tyre Services. The latest additions to the network were all signed in 2018.
Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) has confirmed it is ending its 15-year tyre distribution partnership with Kumho Tyre in the UK. According to the company, the exclusive distribution agreement with Kumho Tyre will “end by mutual agreement” by the end of May 2018. However, MTS says the decision has also been prompted by a “clash of long-term ambition” for the Kumho brand in the UK. It comes at the same time Kumho’s global headquarters is embroiled in a complex ownership and financing struggle.
The reduced buying power of the pound is one of the few persistent themes in this period of Brexit induced flux. For the UK’s tyre distributors, it also compounds the effects of rising raw materials prices, and wholesalers must negotiate this period to help support retailers and their already slim margins.
Micheldever Tyre Services has revealed a significant increase in motorbike tyre sales during 2017. In its 40th year of selling tyres for the full range of motorcycle applications, MTS said sales had increased across its range. The company serves customers from its national warehouse network of 25 sites, fully linked for stock availability and replenishment in real-time, and its dedicated online platform BikeTyreBuyer.com. With this structure, it claims to be the only motorbike tyre distributor offering UK nationwide coverage.
Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) has launched what it terms “a major upgrade” to its TyreClick online retail site for independent customers. The company states that the upgrade represents one of the biggest and most significant investments in TyreClick since its launch in 2014, including a number of new design and user functionality features. The tyre wholesaler added that it would “never stop investing in its ambition to make TyreClick the best tyre selling site in the business” following the implementation of the new developments.
Giti Tire has presented its three-year development programme for its GT Radial brand to key dealers, including UK distributor Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS). The annual PCR European Marketing Council, held in Austria, was attended by customers from across the continent. It looked at current market conditions, future trends, product development and marketing direction, including the brand proposition across advertising, point-of-sale and online activities, comprising the brand website and social media.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (SRI) has completed its acquisition of Micheldever Group Ltd., having purchased 128,787 shares from Graphite Capital Management LLP – an enterprise value of £215 million. Upon the transaction’s closure, SRI owns a business that generated sales of approximately £320 million in the last financial year and is the holding company of Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd, an operation that employs 1,574 people and sells some 6 million tyres a year.
Giti Tire and Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) have signed a renewed three-year exclusive distribution agreement, extending the wholesaler’s UK supply rights for GT Radial and Runway in the passenger car, 4×4 and light truck tyre segments.
The relationship between the companies began in 2010, and under the terms of the deal MTS will continue to develop the GT Radial Performance Centres (GTPCs) whilst simultaneously promoting Runway across its larger independent network.
On 5 January, Micheldever announced that it was being purchased by Sumitomo Rubber Industries of Japan (the company behind Falken, one of Micheldever’s key exclusive brands). While it was no surprise that the business had been sold, the idea that Sumitomo would be the successful bidder was not widely foreseen. With Micheldever having grown into a leading position in the UK wholesale sector with a multi-brand, independent retailer-focused strategy, the acquisition raises many questions for the business’s staff, suppliers and customers. With this in mind, a week after Sumitomo’s purchase Tyres & Accessories met with Micheldever managing director, Duncan Wilkes; wholesale director, Alan Baldwin; and wholesale marketing manager Rory Carlin to find out more about the background to the deal.
Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), the exclusive General Tire distributor for England, Scotland and Wales, and the largest General Tire dealer in Europe, has reported record sales of General Car, Van and 4×4 tyres in 2016.
Sales volumes for the General Tire brand in 2016, increased by more than 50 per cent for MTS and the company saw many of its individual General Tire dealers experience record sales of their own.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ (SRI) £215 million acquisition of the Micheldever Group from Graphite Capital, including Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), the UK’s second largest distributor of tyres, “ensures continuity” of the management and multi-segment brand strategy, according to MTS chief executive Duncan Wilkes. The move also extends the trend of tyre manufacturers buying into – or indeed buying back into – retail through the acquisition of the UK’s largest chains. In April 2016, Tyres & Accessories pointed out that Micheldever’s Protyre chain was the largest growing in the annual survey of the market’s retail landscape – a factor that will have informed the purchase – and three of the top five (Michelin’s ATS Euromaster and Goodyear Dunlop’s HiQ franchise chain) are now manufacturer controlled.
Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has announced its intended acquisition of Micheldever Group Ltd. from Graphite Capital Management LLP. for an enterprise value of £215 million. The tyre maker states its decision to purchase Micheldever is closely linked to the aim of strengthening the market position of its Falken tyre brand in the UK.
The Parts Alliance has announced that Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd has renewed is supply with the firm for a third term. The new contract, worth in excess of £8 million, will run until the end of 2018 and appoints The Parts Alliance for the supply of all vehicle parts, covering Braking, Steering and Suspension, Emission and Service Repair products.
Mark Harley, retail operations director for Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd, said: “The Parts Alliance has the largest network for automotive parts distribution. They supply a full range of OE Quality products, deliver hourly to our centres which is vital to our business and has helped us provide our customers with outstanding service.”
General Tire, which is part of the Continental group of brands has launched two new 4×4 tyres. The Grabber AT3 and Grabber X3 tyres are aimed at the on/off road all-terrain segment and out-and-out off-road segments respectively and both offer significant improvements in performance compared with their predecessor products.