Essex garage owner Laurence Nichols has promised to drive his Harlow business into a new era having strengthened ties with the First Stop network on his 50th anniversary in the motor trade. Nichols runs Uncle Tom’s Motorist Centre, which he named after his father who died in 1989. Now 63, the garage owner began his career making the tea for colleagues back in 1972, before his family business fully kicked into gear in 1976. When his father Tom passed away, he decided to change the name of the garage in his memory. He says thoughts of his father continue to spur him on.
Michelin approved motorcycle dealer FWR has completed a major depot refurbishment, including the installation of a new two-wheel MOT station. One of the longest standing motorcycle partner dealers in the Michelin Quality Centre (MQC) network is now owned by racer Bob Collins. With the company affected severely by the pandemic, Collins and his team used the time wisely, renovating its site in Kennington Road, London.
One of Bicester’s oldest and most popular tyre centres has become the latest independent garage to join the First Stop network. The Victoria Road garage is benefitting from new signage, marketing and social media support, and a broader range of premium tyres already in place. It has also added an MOT station and the latest vehicle diagnostic equipment, worth thousands of pounds. Grip Tyres has provided tyre services to the town’s motorists for around 27 years. First Stop said its popularity in the community was a compelling factor behind the network’s initial approach.
Global lubricant brand, Motul has announced the appointment of Worcester-based branded products specialists, Nemesis, as its newest distributor – as both companies look to implement their ambitious growth plans in the UK Automotive Aftermarket. Motul, who are well established in the UK in the motorsport, enthusiast car and motorcycle sectors – where they are already amongst the best-selling brands – earlier in the year announced their intention to target the general aftermarket in Britain and this new appointment is seen as a major step in putting the resources in place to achieve this.
The Doublestar Group reports that it has signed a cooperation agreement with information and communications company Huawei. According to information posted by Doublestar, the partners will utilise their respective strengths to develop the infrastructure for a 5G network over which tyre pressure, temperature and wear data can be transmitted and shared between vehicles and companies in real-time.
Aberdeenshire-based Turriff Tyres has been given the Michelin stamp of approval, after becoming the first new dealer of 2021 to join the Michelin Quality Centre network. The family-owned business has a well-established reputation in the north of Scotland as a market leader for high performance tyres.
Michelin has appointed Lee Hulme as UK distribution channel and programme manager. In the new role, Hulme will oversee the manufacturer’s four accredited dealer networks for the motorcycle, car, agricultural and commercial vehicle sectors. With the appointment, Michelin has unified its dealer programmes for each segment. It also marks its growing focus on these accredited networks, which in the UK and Ireland now comprise 374 locations. Previously, its dealer programmes were co-ordinated by separate departments internally.
Nokian Tyres has shifted away from its Vianor retail franchise concept in Germany. The Finnish tyre manufacturer said that it is “continuing the close cooperation with our former Vianor dealers in a new, but similarly intensive way under our Nokian Authorised Dealers (NAD) marketing concept.” The move comes shortly after Nokian sold its US Vianor Tire Centers business to Point S, and signifies a move away from the Vianor branding outside the brand’s domestic-plus Nordic region, where Vianor is established with 186 Vianor Equity locations. Anna Hyvönen, SVP, Nordics & Vianor, told Tyres & Accessories that the company is enacting its plans to “optimise” its Central European and North American distribution network via NAD, “focusing on the quality of the partners and providing excellent support and benefits.”
Michelin’s accredited dealer network continues to grow, with new Michelin Quality Centres (MQC) – the new name for members of the Michelin Auto Professional programme – appointed in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Michelin has added three new Michelin Auto Professional (MAP) centres in Scotland. Abbotsinch Tyres & Exhausts, in Kilmarnock, Skidz, in Falkirk, and Stewartry Tyres Newton Stewart, based on the Creeside Industrial Estate in Newton Stewart, have all been added to the network. MAP advocate dealerships get access to free on-site staff training and participation in Michelin’s mystery shopper programme, among other advantages. Michelin will also audit the centres’ digital presence while imparting advice on maximising all online opportunities; MAPS can also access TyreAssist for their customers, protecting new Michelin or BFGoodrich tyres purchased with free 24/7 roadside assistance.
Diagnostics expert, Hella Gutmann Solutions (HGS) has partnered with online car repair marketplace, WhoCanFixMyCar.com. The supplier of the mega macs range of diagnostic systems states that the arrangement means drivers using WhoCanFixMyCar.com to find a workshop will now be able to differentiate between those that utilise HGS tools and those who don’t. The HGS logo will appear on relevant workshop profiles.
A new online service by AutoAdvisor has been launched, designed to help drive business to garages by matching them with motorists who need to get their car fixed. Founded by a group of individuals within the automotive industry who between them, have more than 30 years’ experience, AutoAdvisor has targeted becoming the UK’s fastest growing garage network. The service states that it offers a reduction in time, and the expense of gaining new business. AutoAdvisor also focuses on sourcing quality customer leads for garages within a set local area. AutoAdvisor will be increasing garage aids to help mechanics with technical bulletins, data and training courses.
Sean McManus Tyres has become the 21st tyre retailer to join the Michelin Auto Professional (MAP) dealer network in Ireland. The independent dealership, based in Drogheda, County Louth will display Michelin Certified Centre signage across its site, reflecting Michelin’s seal of approval.