Oak Tyres is marking 40 years in business – and of consecutive years of “sales growth” in 2020. The independently owned company, which is a founder member of Grouptyre, says that its sustained progress is down to its service-led philosophy: “If we provide a better service than our competitor, great things will happen” – its guiding statement since its establishment in 1980. Today, Oak has become one of the largest independent tyre wholesalers in the UK. It has more than 500,000 sq ft of warehouse space across its Haydock, St Helens, Manchester, Leeds and Tyne and Wear sites. In the last decade in particular, Oak’s distribution of two successful brands from the Far East – Landsail and Evergreen, both exclusively distributed – has supported impressive market penetration for both. Since 2015, Oak has established its own global private tyre brand, Davanti, which at the last count is present in more than 60 countries.
South-East Grouptyre member, Grouptyre Wholesale Ltd has opened the doors to a new state of the art warehousing facility in Potter’s Bar, Hertfordshire. The wholesaler, which covers a wide area across the South East, including London and the Home Counties, states that it had outgrown the satellite facility in Brentwood, Essex and decided Potters Bar was the ideal location for the move, with easy links to the A1, M1, M25, M40 and M11 motorways.
Renault Clio Cup racer Dan Zelos has been supported by Evergreen Tyres for half a decade. The partnership started in karting, and has continued to Zelos’ current drive in the Renault Clio Cup. The tyre brand states that its support for Zelos is motivated both by the marketing opportunity it offers and by helping a young driver achieve his ambitions.
Setting foot inside the entrance of Oak Tyres’ new Newton-le-Willows headquarters, it is clear that the company has made a conscious decision to present a stride forwards in the professionalism of its operations. Renovations to the previously semi-derelict three floor building were taken on as a special project headed by the company’s Gary Cross around 18 months ago; “almost finished” when Tyres & Accessories visited, a strong, corporate aesthetic has been employed, with colours and imagery from the Oak Group’s own Davanti tyre brand, as well as exclusively distributed lines, such as Landsail, added to Oak’s red and greyscale CI.
Two years on from the brand’s launch, Davanti continues to increase its growing reputation as the provider of a range of tyres including the innovative DX640 ultra high performance pattern.
The DX640 is manufactured at a leading production facility that incorporates the most advanced tyre building technologies. In addition, its enhanced silica compound and unique tread design for optimal grip and superior performance on all road and weather conditions.
Oak Tyres has hosted the owners of its leading twenty Evergreen tyre dealerships and their partners in Toronto. Staying at the historic five-star Fairmont Royal York Hotel, the group visited Niagara Falls and dined at the top of the CN Tower.
Davanti’s first full year has seen the brand engage in a broad and intensive range of sales and marketing activities, led by a rapid fire trade show appearance schedule. Interest in the brand has been quick to ignite in its UK home market. The company’s management has consistently said the wildfire-like growth of Landsail – distributed by Grouptyre member and Davanti Tyres sister wholesaler Oak Tyres, and manufactured, like all of Davanti’s current products, by Qingdao Sentury Tire – in the UK has not been the focus; according to them Davanti wants to grow in a more controlled, brand-driven manner. So far the company has certainly more than fired a warning shot across the bows of other brands operating in the highly competitive aspirational mid-range sector of the UK market, while Davanti’s recent appointment of European sales director Michael Eckert, formerly of Sailun, Hankook and Michelin in his 21-year career, demonstrates its seriousness about growing into continental Europe. So this was an excellent time for the company to host its first dealer event; a three-day Product Experience trip at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Sometimes it pays to think small. Qingdao Nama Industrial Co. Ltd, manufacturer of the Nama tyre brand, has found a niche market on the lower end of the rim diameter scale. Tyres & Accessories spoke with company chief executive officer William Liu at CITExpo, and Liu showed off several diminutive products (the smallest had just a 10-inch rim diameter!) including a product aimed at the European market.
Oak Tyres is to open its new administrative HQ in the next few months. The company states that its new, custom-built premises in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside is significantly larger than its current facilities in Haydock, providing office space for more staff, and increased training facilities and display areas. The impending relocation highlights the recent success of Oak’s business; the company states that it has recorded its most successful trading year in the company’s history.
It is little over a year since Davanti’s launch at the Autopromotec show, and within this short space of time the brand has gained a foothold in the UK and Irish tyre markets. Now the team behind Davanti have their sights on Europe, and to help establish the brand there have appointed Michael Eckert Davanti’s European sales director.
The Landsail LS588 UHP – and indeed all Landsail car tyres – have enjoyed rapid and consistent growth during the last few years. Despite the parent Sentury Tire factory having only being founded in 2009, seven-digit UK volumes demonstrate the brand is a force to be reckoned with in this European market at least. In the competitive UK ultra high performance sector, Landsail offers the LS588, which company representatives say offers “premium performance at competitive price”.
The launch of the Davanti brand took place at Autopromotec in Bologna in May last year. 12 months later, company representatives are celebrating the brand’s growth, saying the Davanti brand has “literally taken the UK and European tyre market by storm”. As far as the high performance sector is concered, the brand’s growth has been supported by a series new products led by the Davanti DX640 Ultra High Performance pattern.
Merseyside-based tyre wholesaler and company behind the Davanti private brand, Oak Tyres, has relocated to a new and larger facility in Manchester. The new warehouse in Trafford Park is located not far from Oak Tyres’ existing facility and quadruples the company’s capacity in the Greater Manchester area. As well as providing the wholesaler with additional capacity, 20 new jobs have been created through the project. The new warehouse opens in early May and is expected to help Oak Tyres to increase its market share across the Northwest of England.
Davanti has announced the upcoming launch of two new tyres in January. The company – part of the Oak Tyres Group – says the new models are a result of increasing demand for Davanti from the market. The two tyres are the DX740, a commercial van tyre suitable for SUV applications, and the DX240, designed for smaller passenger car applications.
Oak Tyres has undergone some dynamic changes this year as it adapts its business to a shifting wholesale landscape. The most radical of the company’s developments in 2015 has been the launch of its fully owned private brand Davanti, which Oak’s management most recently supported at CITExpo 2015 in Shanghai. To accommodate operations associated with the new brand, Oak Group Holdings was formed, with the Oak Tyres 100 per cent wholesale business now under this umbrella alongside Davanti Tyres, and promotional merchandise producer Davanti World. With the Davanti product designed as “an opportunity for margin”, in the words of general manager Larry Cross, Oak Tyres’ brand portfolio has increased its scope. Stating that “we have a very clear, defined brand strategy at Oak, which we have refined continuously over the past five years,” Peter Cross, commercial manager at Oak Tyres, told Tyres & Accessories a bit more about the company’s current outlook, and how the second tier “exclusive brand programmes” are offering customers the opportunity “to maximise their profits”.