Michelin has long been a leading player in the truck and bus tyre markets, with customers ranging from some of the largest fleets out there to owner operators. And yet, recent years have been tough for everyone in the commercial vehicle segment as the forces of economic uncertainty combined with a tidal wave of low-cost Chinese tyres have put pressure on businesses. As we approach Brexit, roughly a year after anti-Chinese truck tyre imports were implemented, Tyres & Accessories spoke to Michelin business-to-business sales director, Chris Smith as well as Andrew French (Michelin director services) and solutions in order to find out more.
It appears that Michelin and Bridgestone are interested in acquiring the TomTom Telematics business unit from Netherlands-based company TomTom. According to Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), Michelin – one of four companies vying to acquire the business – allegedly aims to add the business into its Michelin Solutions portfolio. The other interested parties are said to be Pamplona Capital Management, which already holds a 26.5 per cent share in London-headquartered telematics and data analytics solutions provider Octo Telematics, and a second, unnamed investment company.
Lothian will continue to roll on premium Michelin tyres after the largest municipal bus company in the UK renewed a three-year Effitires contract with Michelin solutions.
The new agreement will see Michelin solutions supply, fit and manage tyres across Lothian’s fleet of more than 800 single and double-deck buses, which is used to operate more than 70 services in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas of Midlothian and East Lothian.
Michelin has appointed Andrew French, 38, as director of services and solutions for the UK, Ireland and Nordics. In the new role, French will have direct responsibility for Michelin solutions, which manages the tyres on more than 80,000 buses, coaches and trucks in these markets.
Europe’s leading cardboard and paper recycler, DS Smith, has turned to Michelin solutions to supply, fit and manage the tyres across its 191-strong commercial vehicle recycling fleet, on a three-year contract. The new Effitires agreement sees Michelin solutions expand its remit with DS Smith to include 100 per cent of its vehicle parc, adding the recycling fleet to the 378 trucks and trailers already under contract from the firm’s logistics and corrugated packaging operations.
At the Innovation Awards Ceremony held at the SITL transport and logistics exhibition in Paris last Wednesday, companies were honoured for their latest and greatest in six awards categories. Michelin Solutions’ MyBestRoute application was declared winner of the Technologies and Information Systems category.
Michelin solutions has been awarded a major contract with XPO Logistics, a leading global provider of transport and logistics solutions, to provide a tailored tyre management solution across nearly 80 per cent of its 17,000-strong European fleet. The tyre maker notes that the three-year agreement represents one of the largest and most complex commercial vehicle tyre contracts in the sector.
Passenger transport operator Abellio has appointed Michelin solutions to supply, fit and manage its tyres on a cost-per-mile Effitires contract for the next five years. The company, which operates an 800-strong single and double-deck bus fleet, has returned to Michelin after moving to a rival manufacturer in 2012. As part of the agreement, Abellio will become involved in new product testing for Michelin to support the development of the company’s next generation of urban tyres.
According to the latest statistics on the UK commercial vehicle industry, the number of medium to large commercial vehicle operators has been rising in the last five years. This represents an opportunity for outsourced tyre contract and service providers, as larger fleets present an increasingly complex task to manage their tyre usage, and associated servicing. Michelin solutions estimates that 42 per cent of truck fleets in the UK operating 51 or more vehicles are still purchasing tyres on a transactional basis, and therefore managing them in-house. It argues that this process is likely increasing their costs and environmental footprint.
Following a competitive tender involving several premium competitors, European transport specialist De Rijke Northern Europe B.V. has renewed its contract with Michelin solutions; it will thus continue to manage De Rijke’s tyres across a fleet of 160 tractor units and 660 trailers based in The Netherlands, Belgium and UK for the next three years.
The Openfield co-operative that helps harvest, store, and market crops for more than 3,500 farmers across the UK has appointed Michelin solutions to manage its tyres. The three-year, price-per-kilometre Effitires deal replaces a transactional agreement with a competing premium tyre brand, and covers Openfield’s 36 Scania and Volvo trucks, plus a mixed fleet of 46 bulk tipper trailers.
McGill’s Buses has signed a five-year extension to its Michelin solutions tyre management programme. The fleet operator said Michelin solutions’ “fantastic support” was a key factor in its decision to renew. The Effitires contract covers the operator’s 400-plus single and double-decker buses, and will see Michelin solutions supply, fit and service the operator’s Michelin tyres.
Michelin solutions UK commercial director Paul Davey and sales manager Richard Dale have expanded their roles to include functional support to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, in addition to their existing responsibilities within the UK and Ireland.
Michelin solutions has announced a suite of upgrades to its Effitrailer telematics programme. The dedicated trailer telematics software now offers three additional system abilities: asset ID, cold-chain management and a remote door opening sensor.