Only 40 per cent of motorists visiting fast-fit centres get new tyres fitted on the first visit, according to new research from e-commerce firm epyx. Instead, 60 per cent of drivers had to make a second visit.
The figures, which were released on 19 June, show that fast-fit centres are now only half as fast as they were 10 years ago.
Automotive sector technology solutions provider epyx has added tyres to its 1link Vehicle Network trading platform. It says “leading tyre distributors and manufacturers” have signed up and will provide products at “competitive prices”. According to epyx, the inclusion of tyres in 1link will enable dealers to provide fleets with a nationwide, fixed price tyre offering.
Kwik-Fit Fleet was recently named the UK’s ‘Best Fast Fit Company’ for a 17th consecutive year in the annual BusinessCar Awards, and now the company has scooped another honour. This second award comes from vehicle leading and management company LeasePlan UK. Nine of LeasePlan’s key suppliers were bestowed a Supplier Excellence Award, which recognises those organisations that have helped the company live up to its key values over the last 12 months, in one of three categories – service, value and innovation – Kwik-Fit Fleet was a recipient in the value category.
Kwik-Fit Fleet has won a five-year multi-million pound tyre repair, replacement and management contract with LeasePlan UK. The deal with LeasePlan UK, one of the country’s largest contract hire and fleet management companies with almost 120,000 funded vehicles on its books, will run until the end of 2011. The new contract builds on a business relationship between the two companies, which dates back to 2004.
Kwik-Fit Fleet will have a new man at the wheel from 4 December 2006 when Mike Wise returns to the company to replace Nigel Davies, who is to become chief executive of London-based Pirtek Europe, the number one provider of hydraulic solutions. Mr Davies, who has spent almost 14 years with Britain’s largest independent fast-fit company, said he was sad to be leaving the company but the new job was an “opportunity I could not refuse.”
Kwik-Fit Fleet has announced a major redevelopment and expansion of its Fleet Service Centre. The latest developments include taking on 10 new service centre operators, on top of the 30 recruited 12 months ago, and relocating the service centre to a newly-refurbished dedicated area within Kwik-Fit Financial Services’ call centre at Tannochside.
Kwik-Fit Fleet picked up a couple of new contracts recently.
The first of these is a three-year deal with HSBC Vehicle Finance, under which Kwik-Fit Fleet is named as preferred supplier of fast-fit services to its fleet of 90,000 vehicles.
Mike Wise, Kwik-Fit Fleet sales director, said: “More and more contract hire and leasing companies are looking to consolidate their purchasing power to keep costs down and cement service standards for drivers.” Peter Hollinshead, head of HSBC Vehicle Finance, agreed, saying: “We task ourselves with maximising our purchasing power, improving service levels and making efficiency savings, which we can pass on to our customers. This agreement with Kwik-Fit Fleet will help us achieve these objectives.”
Interviews with Kwik-Fit personnel have been thin on the ground for the past couple of years or so, and even fewer since the CVC purchase. One exception was T&A’s interview with Mike Wise focussing on the car fleet tyre sector in our April issue. Calls to Tim Parker and Trevor Chinn’s offices were well parried by apparently impervious PA’s.
Kwik-Fit Fleet has appointed Naithan Keeping as its first dedicated European account manager to work with major pan-European fleets. He joined the group in 2001 as fleet sales director of FTM and officially takes up his new appointment on April 1st, reporting to Kwik-Fit Fleet sales director Mike Wise.
Following a review of its business operations, CVC, the new owners of Kwik-Fit, has made changes to its fleet operations. FTM Tyrefit will cease trading on 28th February and its call centre activities will be integrated into Kwik-Fit Fleet, which will also take over responsibility for FTM’s outsourced business. Mike Wise, recently appointed Kwik-Fit’s Fleet Sales Director, said that he expects the transition to be “seamless”.
Mike Wise has been appointed to the new post of Fleet Sales Director, following the sale of the Kwik-Fit group to CVC. Kwik-Fit Fleet MD Ron Bambra has retired and Mike Wise will now head up both Kwik-Fit Fleet and FTM. He will also join the newly-created Kwik-Fit UK management team, headed by recently-appointed CEO Tim Parker.
Fleet tyre management phoenix, FTM, has claimed domination of the UK fleet tyre management market, with coverage, largely exclusive, of 80 per cent of the fleet market. Some 1641 depots and 400 mobile units give FTM the claim to being the largest network of independent tyre retailers serving this market in the UK. Managing Director, Mike Wise, said at the annual dealer conference, that this had been achieved in the face if doubts and criticism from both the industry and press, and against a range of unprofessional business tactics from competing fleet tyre operators. Sir Tom Farmer, speaking as CEO of the Kwik-Fit Group which owns FTM, complimented the team on their success with a business which he couldn’t have given away 18 months previously.