Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of a brand that launched an entire automotive sector and today is familiar to every motorist up and down the land. On 16 April 1971 in McDonald Road, Edinburgh, the first ever Kwik Fit centre opened its garage doors to motorists, offering the new concept of ‘fast fit’ services, replacing components while drivers waited.
Marko Ibrahim is the new president of Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO), the Bridgestone Americas subsidiary responsible for operating a network of more than 2,200 tyre and vehicle service centres across the United States of America. He succeeds Joe Venezia, who led the organisation since 2017 and has stepped down to pursue a leadership role outside of Bridgestone.
The First Stop network has completed its support team for new and existing partners with the recruitment of two further retail business consultants. The First Stop area map for Britain is now fully populated with the appointments of Nick Salt (Northern England and Scotland) and Shaun Sweeney (South West England and South Wales).
Online tyre and wheel retailer Delticom AG has appointed Dr Harald Blania to its Management Board. He became a board member on 14 August and will serve a fixed-term that expires at the end of 28 February 2021.
Nokian Tyres has sold its Vianor US business to Oregon-based Point S member Gills Point S Tire. The transaction covers ten Vianor service centres, with all current Vianor US service centre employees will be taken on by Gills Point S Tire & Auto Service.
German tyre retailer and fast fit network ATU has announced plans to close up to 45 of its least profitable outlets. It says this culling of the weak is being carried out as a means of “strengthening the entire company.”
The world’s largest independent retailer of tyres and wheels has a new chief executive officer. US-based company Discount Tire has promoted Dean Muglia to the role. He succeeds Michael Zuieback, who will retain the role of executive chairman.
Michelin has added three new Michelin Auto Professional (MAP) centres in Scotland. Abbotsinch Tyres & Exhausts, in Kilmarnock, Skidz, in Falkirk, and Stewartry Tyres Newton Stewart, based on the Creeside Industrial Estate in Newton Stewart, have all been added to the network. MAP advocate dealerships get access to free on-site staff training and participation in Michelin’s mystery shopper programme, among other advantages. Michelin will also audit the centres’ digital presence while imparting advice on maximising all online opportunities; MAPS can also access TyreAssist for their customers, protecting new Michelin or BFGoodrich tyres purchased with free 24/7 roadside assistance.
Apollo Tyres has extended its Apollo Truck Tyre Zone (ATTZ) fleet service concept to Thailand. The first ATTZ outlet, a collaboration between Apollo and local partner Ten Ten Auto Tyres has opened in Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province and is equipped to provide a range of services such as wheel alignment for trucks and cars, tyre changing and wheel balancing.
Delticom AG has managed to maintain its gross profit level in the first half of the year despite a slight decrease in sales compared with the prior-year period. Revenues amounted to 285 million euros in the six months to 30 June 2019, 2.1 per cent less year-on-year. Gross profit was 76.9 million euros, nearly unchanged compared to the previous year; stable profits and lower sales meant that the gross margin slightly grew to 21.9 per cent (H1 2018: 21.7%).
National Tyres and Autocare has begun offering vehicle servicing at selected outlets. It offers three vehicle servicing packages, starting with a 25-point Express Service and going up to a full 51-point Full Service.
The First Stop network has appointed Brenden Marais as south region retail business consultant. Marais previously held roles at Euro Car Parts (general manager and operations manager over the past six years) and The Parts Alliance (account manager).
Stoke-on-Trent’s Hot Lane Tyres, a family run business owned by Russ Cartwright, has announced its sponsorship of promising Port Vale FC full back James Gibbons. The sponsorship is part of Hot Lane Tyres planned marketing programme for 2018 and beyond.