Financial analysts have described Nokian’s latest third quarter financial results as “better than expected”, however they also pointed out that any optimism will be have to be balanced against the details of a recent profit warning. The profit warning referred to forthcoming fourth quarter figures, which are expected to be “weak”, with pre-tax profits (EBIT) estimates projecting a -13 per cent decline.
Duncan Wilkes has been appointed chief executive of Micheldever Group, taking up the position in the New Year. First announced last February as part of the Micheldever Board‘s senior management succession plan, current Micheldever chief executive officer Paul Fox’s retirement has been confirmed for 31 December 2013. Fox will remain both as a shareholder and a non-executive director on the Micheldever Board.
Giti Tire has announced the appointment of Lorella Maggiori as marketing manager for Italy and Spain. Formerly of Bridgestone Italy’s marketing department Maggiori will support Corrado Moglia, general manager – southern Europe, and work in partnership with the senior management and marketing teams of each importer across all passenger car, SUV, light truck and truck & bus programmes. Giti says it is currently growing in both countries, seeing both as key European markets.
Bridgestone has presented Rugby fast-fitter TW Tyres with an award recognising the company’s 35 years in business. TW Tyres, based in Paynes Lane, and owner Mike Furner were presented with a cut-glass accolade from the manufacturer to recognise decades of hard work in the town.
The e-bulletin of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation quotes a story in the Oxford Mail, where Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron has been told of the need for regulation in the independent motoring trade by a businessman from his constituency.
The annual Labour Rates Survey carried out by Warranty Direct, suggests that garages are charging an average of £8.16 an hour less than last year to carry out service or repair work. The average hourly labour rate in 2013 of both franchised and non-franchised workshops is £74.70, down 9.84 per cent from £82.86 in 2012. Data from more than 12,000 cases were analysed in the study.
Following on from the news that Delticom AG purchased fast-growing online tyre retailer Tirendo on 17 September, Delticom executives have also revealed that company’s founders and main shareholders Rainer Binder and Andreas Pruefer also sold around 500,000 Delticom shares to a subsidiary of European Media Holding AG (EMH), which itself is a founding shareholder of Tirendo. In addition EMH was granted options to purchase up to a further 1.6 million shares. Apart from increasing the apparent combined value Delticom attributed to Tirendo, it is also likely to have consequential effects on market pricing.
When it comes to B2B selling online, automotive organisations are struggling to provide the online buying experience that their customers have come to expect. That’s the view published in the 2013 E-commerce Report from Intershop, which also reveals that smartphone usage, social media and the so-called “consumerisation of IT” are driving up B2B customer expectations. The reports advice? Automotive firms have to adapt to changing customer expectations, driven by trends such as smartphone usage and social media.
What do tyres, websites and a new cover design have in common? It is all a question of quality. In the British tyre industry everyone talks about price versus quality. Almost as often the debate broadens out before settling in the amorphous arena of “value”. More often than not this means the narrowing of the gap between two perceived opposites. In practice it could mean a customer buying a high quality product for a lower than expected price.The classic example of this is the customer that buys a higher priced product that performs beyond either their expectations or what the competition has to offer. In either case both propositions are predicated on the basis of product quality. Without this there are only short term pricing and sales strategies. And this in turn leads to the key difference highlighted by the age-old business adage: “sales are vanity, profits are sanity”. Without a properly considered quality-focused market approach, businesses struggle to make sense in the long-term, whether the macro-economic environment provides wind in your sails or an adverse gale.
Milton Keynes-based Bridgestone truck tyre specialist, Robbs Tyre Services is to use Cam Systems’ UniServ and Cameo platforms from August as it supports its network of 10 vans. The addition of UniSerV’s Integrated Casing Management module is designed to streamline Robbs Tyres’ job sheet processing while managing its truck casings from cradle to grave.
According to the weekly e-newsletter of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation, Kwik Fit has introduced a new fleet pricing strategy, which sees all brake pads and discs for a manufacturer's individual car and light commercial vehicle model range priced identically irrespective of the derivative of the vehicle.
New car sales figures for July, released by the SMMT, show month on month sales were up 12.7 per cent compared to July last year. This continuing buoyancy caused the SMMT to revise its forecast for sales for the year as a whole – up from 2.1 million vehicles to 2.2 million. This figure is an 8.4 per cent increase on 2012 sales.
Wheel manufacturer Superior Industries International has reported a slightly lower year-on-year net income for the second quarter of 2012. Net income decreased from US$6.4 million a year ago to $6.3 million in the March to June quarter.
While we have become accustomed to technological advances driving changes in mature markets, Automotive part supplier First Line, owner of the Borg & Beck brand of braking systems, comments that a more retroactive potential change in the brake market is being driven by automotive ecological and economic considerations. The company says that in recent years, braking technology has remained fairly stable with no great evolutionary advances, which means the biggest change in the market continues to be the growth of the drum/shoe combination as the rear brake solution for many small cars.