In August 2021, the people behind Blackcircles ZA announced that the company would tap into “the enormous growth of e-commerce in the country” by launching Blackcircles.co.za in South Africa. Four months later at the end of 2021, the site went live.
On 14 January, Delticom AG signed a contract for the sale of its majority shareholding in Delticom North America Inc. with Tire Capital LLC. The Hannover, Germany-based online tyre company expects to receive between US$7.5 million and $8 million for its 75 per cent stake in the US subsidiary, the sales price being subject to customary market adjustment mechanisms. Delticom anticipates a finalisation of the contract in the second half of February.
French competition regulator the Autorité de la concurrence has approved the Michelin Group’s move to acquire sole control over French tyre e-tailer Allopneus SAS and its subsidiaries. In a statement published on 28 December, the Autorité said it cleared the deal unconditionally in the belief that it is “not likely to harm competition.”
Online training specialists OurVirtualAcademy have released two new courses in their Tyres suite. With winter fast approaching, and with snow already on the ground in some areas, tyres and the grip they can provide in adverse conditions have never been more important. In Mud and Snow Tyres, you will look at the detail of M+S tyres, including all-season tyres, winter tyres and the 3 peaks mountain snowflake. The second course Aquaplaning, looks at what aquaplaning is and the associated importance of tyre tread and tyre pressures.
At the end of the year, it is customary to look back at the preceding 12 months as well as to look forward at what the future has to hold. One way our culture sums up the past year is to nominate a fitting word that encapsulates the spirit of the age. Last year our word of the year was “unprecedented”. This year the (OED) Oxford English Dictionary word of 2021 is “vax”, which offers us all – as if it were needed – a reminder of the continuing presence of Covid-19 during the last year.
Discount Tire, a leading independent tyre and wheel retailer in the US is acquiring Tire Rack, which is known for its tyre tests and is a “consumer-direct source for tyres, wheels and performance accessories”. According to the company, the investment is part of Discount Tire’s vision of creating an “Easy, and Safe omnichannel, B2B, and fleet customer experience”. The transaction is expected to close on 31 December 2021.
Online auto parts dealer Autodoc has named Spanish footballer and world champion Fernando Torres as the company’s exclusive brand ambassador. Resultant communication activities include a wide range of campaigns, but the focus social media activities in Spain and the UK as well as in all of the other 25 European countries in which Autodoc is currently active.
So far, the majority of our ongoing Torque from the Top series of interviews with leading players in the UK tyre business have been with executives hailing from the manufacturing side of things. This month we redress the balance by engaging with Andy Fern who is the managing director of one of the UK’s largest tyre wholesale businesses, Stapleton’s. Here he talks us through the resilience of staff and customers during the turbulent couple of years we have all experience and details the “seismic shift in the market” that has come with increase online demand from consumers.
MAHA UK has launched a LinkedIn page and subsequent advertising campaign to complement the brand’s Facebook page, which has reportedly been “an excellent tool to generate new leads and sales, as well as sharing updates from equipment installations and news from within the UK and other MAHA subsidiaries around the world”. Indeed, MAHA UK has pledged to not just increase its visibility online, but to provide followers with “valuable and exciting material”.
With multiple sources suggesting that the online tyre business broke new ground during 2020, but with data illustrating that trend less easy to come by, Tyres & Accessories caught up with Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) wholesale director Graham Mitchell in order to get a leading tyre wholesaler’s perspective. Starting by setting the company’s recent online tyre business performance into the context of its recent history, our interview looks to the future of the online tyre business and touches on the importance of search engine marketing in the tyre trade.
Tyres-N-Parts. This familiar-sounding name belongs to a new B2B digital sales platform aimed at car dealerships and workshops as well as tyre dealers. The Michelin-backed venture is initially launching in Germany and aims to act as an online one-stop-shop for tyres and automotive spare parts. Tyres-N-Parts believes it will become “a model that will define the future of tyre and parts retailing.”
On the one hand, most sources agree that online tyre demand is booming as a result of the pandemic and its related lockdowns. However, on the other hand, such rapid growth has also led to increased competition online. One way of finding which tyre firms are getting ahead in the online space is to consider the race for pole-position in Google search results. Since Google is the by far the biggest search engine online holding a dominant 92.47 per cent global market share as of June 2021 (87.7 per cent in the UK specifically), getting your brand ahead of the competition in search results makes a big difference. And paid search advertising, known as pay-per-click (PPC) – is one way to do that. In order to get a handle on the tyre retail sector’s virtual performance in 2021, Tyres & Accessories worked with SEO marketing specialists Evolved who analysed the organic search and PPC performance of the top 23 UK-based etailers and concluded that online specialist Blackcircles is taking ground from bricks and mortar market leader Kwik Fit, amongst other things.
During our recent visit to Magowan’s T&A met with founder Darryl Magowan Snr., Darryl Magowan Jnr, David Magowan and IT manager Ben Tinsley who gave us a guided tour around the bespoke newbuild warehouse and who also explained the thinking that has gone into the project.
Earlier this year a retired tyre industry veteran got in touch to ask if we wanted any of his old copies of Tyres & Accessories. While our archives stretch all the way back to our first edition in 1946, outside the British Library there were some gaps in the first couple of decades. So, we jumped at the chance. The offer of vintage editions from the swinging 60s also comes at a time when we are working hard on digitising our back catalogue. So far, the 132 copies going back to 2010 have been through the process and are now available online. And the first decade of the millennium (2000 to 2010) is also well underway. From here, the goal is to work back in time until we have a full complement. So, should you want to look into the history of your company or find out what happened in the tyre business on an important date such as an anniversary – our digital archive will be there to help you reminisce. And if there is a particular historic article you think we should digitise sooner rather than later, please get in touch via email@example.com to let us know which edition we should transfer to the digital realm and why.