TyreClick, the website developed by Micheldever Tyre Services to help its independent customers compete for online sales, reports that the system has generated £10 million of revenue since its launch. The milestone figure was reached when a motorist placed an order for four 255/40R18 Kumho KU39 tyres with Hucknall Tyre & Exhaust Centre in Nottinghamshire.
A survey of over 100 senior UK haulage fleet managers, conducted by the Association for Driving Licence Verification, has shown that 91 per cent of respondents want CPC & Tacho data to be available alongside online driving licence checks. They also believe that its inclusion would eliminate the industry’s current but imprecise reliance on visual data checking. A further 90 per cent felt that the availability of CPC and Tacho information would make their own monitoring of driver entitlement easier, by supporting existing HR systems and acting as a single point of reference.
A new report into the UK’s car buying habits has revealed the impact that technological and generational changes are having on the country’s motorists – and the people they buy their cars from. The 2016 Car Buyers’ Census, compiled from an online YouGov poll by the search engine Carsnip, revealed a growing ‘generation gap’ among drivers, with many younger people embracing new technologies and peer-reviews to make the task of purchasing a car easier than ever. According to the survey, so-called ‘Millennial and ‘Generation Z’ drivers were twice as likely to use online car search when buying a car compared to over-55s.
Wales’ Huw Lewis Tyres has added a one-click-fit feature and dual-language support to its website in a move that was part-funded by the Michelin Auto Professional programme’s business development fund.
The revamped website showcases the Michelin Certified Centre dealership’s entire tyre product range and service offering in both English and Welsh, along with a ‘find my tyres’ page that matches prospective customers’ cars with their ideal fitments.
Michelin will begin selling tyres directly to consumers online for the first time during the first quarter of 2016. The news came in parallel with the launch of the new Michelin Pilot Sport 4, which will be the first tyre to be sold by the company via this method.
Goodyear has launched its next generation website in the UK and Ireland. While not quite the pioneering retail strategy employed by the manufacturer’s US digital platform, the new site (www.goodyear.co.uk) has increased the company’s interaction with end-consumers – a reaction to the sustained growth in consumers researching their tyre purchase decision online. In an unusual move for tyre manufacturers’ own websites, Goodyear also provides a recommended sell-out price on its tyres, which indicates a step towards the retail activity of its American cousin, albeit without any sort of requirement of the retailer to honour that price.
Last January at its annual dealer conference, Goodyear unveiled plans to launch direct-to-consumer online sales across the US through its Goodyear.com website. Since then, Michelin has bought into two large European e-tailers and Apollo has acquired another. Clearly 2015 has been the year that tyre majors have allowed their online retail strategies surface. And while approaches differ between manufacturers and markets, Goodyear’s US approach is by far the most direct. At the moment, this approach centres on North America, however what we learn from Goodyear’s case is valuable in any market. In mid-November Tire Review editor Jim Smith met with Goodyear’s Mike Dauberman, senior director of marketing and interactive, and Bill Friel, general manager of consumer dealer retail, and here gives Tyres per cent Accessories readers access to their conversation.
In April, Goodyear Tire & Rubber chairman and chief executive Richard Kramer shared plans to introduce a company-owned online tyre retail platform in the USA. After opening for business in September, the tyre maker reports that the goodyear.com tyre sales site is now serving customers across the entire country. More than 4,000 outlets, including 600 Goodyear tyre and service centres, have joined the programme and will act as fitters for tyres purchased through the site.
Social media has made accessing the opinions of trusted peers easier than ever, so it makes sense that garages and workshops should find ways to increase this free publicity. Dipstix, a website dedicated to helping motorists manage their cars, has created TrustBay to offer garages a chance to generate vital customer reviews.
On 15 June Michelin launched what it says is the tyre industry’s first cloud-based content syndication platform. According to the company, the digital platform will allow partner dealers to access any kind of official digital content provided by the manufacturers in real time in order to automatically update their own sites.
Online tyre retailer Delticom has begun rolling out the first in a series of new national websites that combine tyre sales, tips and information in the one location. Delticom’s name for the new information portal is TyresNet, and it says it aims to “open up the world of tyres and wheels” to motorists and tyre, rim and wheel suppliers. The first two sites to go live cater to the German (reifen.de) and Austrian (reifen.at) markets.
The director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has voiced her organisation’s support for the DVLA’s extension of online services. The Authority has made it possible to retain and assign a registration number online, a feature for which the NFDA has previously campaigned.
At Delticom’s Annual General Meeting in Germany yesterday, shareholders were informed that the online tyre retailer would distribute a dividend of € 0.25 per share for the 2014 financial year – only half that of the previous year. This smaller dividend particularly reflected a three-quarter drop in net profit – a decline “mainly due to the higher cost base after the Tirendo acquisition.” Andreas Prüfer, head of the company’s board of management, also told shareholders that the Tirendo business concept “of achieving 50 per cent or 100 per cent growth in the online tyre market through high advertising and personnel expenses did not prove successful.”
Kingsway Tyres has become the first tyre dealer to register with e-jobsheet.com, CAM’s open-access mobile data platform for digital tablet technology in the truck, bus and van service arena. Signing up at the CV Show in April, director and general manager of Kingsway Tyres, Martin O’Brien, says, “We were persuaded to register by the many benefits associated by taking greater control of our truck tyre service work which will continue to improve our processes, drive efficiencies and reduce costs.”