With mobile tyre fitment take-up increasing since the pandemic, E-Cube equipment is aiming to become an “essential part of a tyre retailers services in the UK and Europe”. However, while things have been developing positively with the E-Cube in general, the coronavirus pandemic has is said to have “temporarily delayed” manufacturer TMG’s intention to fully launch E-Cube into the UK tyre market. Nevertheless, the final preparations regarding the distribution and servicing of the unit are being made now with a view to an early 2021 launch.
We’ve all had to adapt during the corona-crisis and lockdown. For many tyre retailers it has meant agonising decisions relating to either staying opening or shutting down. But some have found a middle way – mobile tyre fitting.
During our recent “Kick-starting your tyre business” Tyrepress webinar, Craig Sprigmore, retail director of HiQ; Graham Mitchell, wholesale director of Micheldever Tyre Services; Noel Pope, managing director of Merityre; and John Stone, founder and managing director of Stone Tyres discussed the role of mobile fitting in helping tyre businesses adapt to the new normal.
As the UK increasingly adopts social distancing measures, tyre retailers are reporting increased demand for mobile tyre fitting services. For example, Kwik Fit is introducing social distancing measures for its mobile fleet operators. The company reports that it has seen a 15 per cent increase in enquiries for appointments for tyre fitting at customers’ homes, the majority of which are said to be due to customers self-isolating after being impacted by the government’s latest guidance on the coronavirus. And Halfords has introduced a ‘contactless’ home fitting service.
Netherlands-based TechnoMarketing Group (TMG) has appointed Yorkshire-based On Board Power (OBP) as the exclusive UK Distributor for the E-Cube compact mobile tyre servicing unit. According to the company, E-Cube will soon be available in the UK.
With mobile tyre fitment becoming increasingly popular for motorists and being an enterprising addition for tyre retailers, demand for mobile tyre service vehicles has increased. Along with increased demand for mobile tyre vehicles comes the need for on-board power solutions.
Kwik Fit has “significantly expanded” its ‘Mobile7’ mobile tyre fitting operation and is executing plans for “further development in 2019 and beyond”. Kwik Fit launched ‘Mobile7’ inside the M25 in 2016 and has subsequently expanded the service into other regions across the UK. According to the company, ‘Mobile7’ is Kwik Fit’s response to delivering both increased tyre replacement capacity and flexibility. Kwik Fit ‘Mobile7’ runs in addition to the company’s 600-odd bricks and mortar retail units.
Tyres on the Drive now offers delivery appointment self-scheduling online using Descartes’ dynamic appointment scheduling and route planning solution. The offering provides a differentiated customer experience while improving the productivity of Tyres On The Drive’s fleet and technicians.
Delticom AG teamed up with Netherlands-based TechnoMarketing to exclusively present the Mobile Mech concept and its compact, ‘all-in-one’ Ecube tyre service unit. Delticom believes the Ecube is a “completely game-changing” advancement which provides businesses with more versatile solution to the roadside tyre sales.
CEMB is widening its mobile service dedicated range of products by presenting some new lines at Autopromotec in Bologna.
The new SM624 semi-automatic tyre changer for products for cars, light commercial vehicles up to 24 inches and motorcycles (using the optional clamping kit) is particularly suitable for mobile service thanks to the 12V power supply. SM624 can be equipped with the patented pneumatic device UHP, which assists the operator during mounting/demounting of low-profile or particularly difficult tyres such as run-flats.
Beginning this month, eBay will begin adding tyre fitting to the portfolio of automotive services it offers in certain markets. The online giant says eBay Motors will initially offer tyre fitting to motorists in Germany before rolling out the service in the US market this summer. eBay has yet to provide a timetable for the service’s introduction into the UK or other markets.
Fleet and retail customers located within the area encircled by the M25 can now arrange for Kwik Fit to mount tyres on their vehicles between 8:30am and 8:30pm, seven days a week. While operating hours for the rest of the UK remain 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 1pm on a Saturday, the new ‘Mobile7’ format will be extended to other metropolitan areas in 2017.
Visitors to the US-based onsite.michelin.com website are now being met with the message that “this service is no longer being offered.” The mobile programme, whose pilot rollout began last year, promised to take care of tyre purchasing and fitting in “three easy steps”, with tyres and a fitting appointment selected online and the tyres mounted at a location of the customer’s choosing. The tyre maker hasn’t officially commented on its decision to end its OnSite programme, however US publication Tire Business writes that Michelin was “disappointed that unit volumes did not meet expectations.”
Lodge Tyre Company Ltd has opened its 21st depot, with the unveiling on a new branch in Salford. The family run and Birmingham-based business is celebrating its 80th year of trading during 2015.
The new depot, which situated in Lord Byron Square, Salford and close to the M56, M60, M61, M62 and M67 motorway network is located to service Lodge’s expanding business to business customer list as well as its mobile response service. The depot will initially be used as a stocking unit employing three people and managed by long-time Lodge employee Jamie Davies.
2 April sees the launch of the AA’s first professional mobile tyre fitting service. Called ‘AA Tyres’, the service is a joint venture with Manchester-based Event Tyres and initially, the fleet consists of 30 AA-liveried vans, each equipped to change tyres, repair punctures and balance wheels at a location convenient to the driver. The news confirms earlier reports suggesting such a move was on the horizon.