The UK light commercial vehicle tyre market had a relatively dynamic year in 2020, with value and volume changes in certain sub-segments driven by an increase in higher rim diameter tyre sizes, as well as increased demand for all-season – and even winter – performance. According to GfK panelmarket data, which tracks points of sale, comparing the calendar year 2020 to 2019, these growth subsegments supported a 2020 light commercial vehicle tyre market value change across all rim sizes of 0 per cent, while volume was down only -2 per cent. While LCV operators were not entirely immune to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdowns, these figures show how the essential services supported by van operators, such as last mile delivery resulting from booming e-commerce, allowed LCV tyres to achieve results within touching distance of pre-pandemic norms.
The Halfords Group reported a strong set of full-year 2021 that saw the company generate total sales of 1,292.5 million in 2021, up 13.1 per cent compared with the 2020 financial year (2020: 1,155.1 million). The financial report, which was published on 17 June 2021, shows that by all measures pre-tax profits skyrocketed. Indeed, Halfords Group reported profit before tax after the impact of IFRS 16 of £64.5 million, which amounts to a headline-grabbing increase of 184.1 per cent compared with the previous year.
Halfords Autocentres accounted for an increasing proportion of the group’s overall sales figures, reporting 2021 sales of £252.5 million, up 31.6 per cent compared with 2020’s £194.1 million.
While the world is still adjusting to the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been no small measure of disruption in the standings of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers, according to our latest top 25 table. Six of the top 10 have changed places this time round, with the headline news being that Michelin has regained pole position after several years of having Bridgestone in first place. At the same time, Continental has stepped up into third position, leapfrogging the previous incumbent Goodyear.
As can be seen in the top 10 table published yesterday, Halfords Autocentres remains in second place nationally in our 2021 ranking of the UK’s largest retail operations by branch count. Continuing our three-article series on this subject, today’s instalment focuses on places 11 to 20 and finds that the medium to large sized positions are increasingly being taken by autocentre style businesses that make as much money from parts and repairs as they do from tyres (and more than traditional fast fits).
This year the well-known Finland-based tyre testing centre Test World turns 30. What better way to celebrate than to redouble its efforts to become a comprehensive test centre for summer, winter and all-season tyres? Following the acquisition of Test World’s parent company Millbrook by UTAC CERAM, which was completed at the start of February 2021, key developments towards this goal include: the purchase of the world’s first all-electric winter tyre traction testing light truck and the addition of a new soon-to-be opened proving ground in Morocco. Tyres & Accessories me up Jukka Antila, Technical Director at Test World as well as Millbrook business development manager Andrew Kern in order to find out more.
5 November saw the inaugural virtual Tyre Industry Conference, with Tyres & Accessories bringing the traditional annual conference into the virtual arena due to Covid-19 restrictions. Produced in association with the NTDA and supported by Cam Systems, our expert panel was comprised of James Ward, senior insight manager, GfK; Andrea Manenti, VP north region, Bridgestone; and Pravesh Amtha, sales general manager Consumer UK&I, Goodyear. The wide-ranging 45-minute conversation covered a lot of bases, but the first session, which was designed to focus on the new tyre market’s recent trends and statistics began with a presentation from James Ward.
For the fourth year in a row, Michelin can be found at the top of Tyres & Accessories’ 2020 UK social media ranking. Indeed, such is Michelin’s dominance in the annual table, only Goodyear (in 2012) and Dunlop (in 2016) have done enough to overtake the UK arm of the French tyre brand since our research began in 2011. In both cases, Michelin still managed to take second place.
The UK’s largest tyre retailer, Kwik Fit, is being prepared for a sale. The Japanese Itochu group, which owns the European Tyre Enterprises Ltd (ETEL) holding company that controls both Kwik Fit and its wholesale counterpart Stapleton’s Tyre Services, has appointed investment bankers Nomura to advise on strategic options for the company, according to Sky News, with insiders suggesting a sale is very likely.
Having received approval back in June, Qingdao Sentury Tire has successfully completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and is now listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (China) as of 11 September 2020. 11 per cent of the company’s shares were valued at 1.31 billion yuan (162 million euros; £149.859 million) by investors, resulting in a theoretical total valuation of 1.47 billion euros. The offered shares offered were oversubscribed 2887 times over. But what is the company planning to do with its newly-raised funds?
Continuing our series investigating UK Police fleet tyre demand, we looked a little closer at the differences between the various regional forces tyre preferences. Despite the fact that, as we have seen, tyre purchasing is based on a national framework agreement, there was a surprising amount of variety in both tyre policy and what actually happened when the rubber hit the road, so to speak.
It’s not just the car that’s grown. This August Mini officially began celebrating the iconic marque’s 60th anniversary. We at Tyres & Accessories wanted to join in with the celebrations by sharing a couple of interesting points about how the Mini’s tyres have evolved over the last 60 years.