Kal Tire and Bridgestone Canada have reached an agreement for Kal Tire to purchase 15 full-service GCR Tires & Service (GCR) outlets, two retreading plants and one off-the-road tyre repair shop from Bridgestone. The purchase of these locations will enable Kal Tire to serve more consumer, commercial and mining customers in the Canadian markets where it currently operates, as well as expand its footprint to include locations in eastern Canada.
One of Bicester’s oldest and most popular tyre centres has become the latest independent garage to join the First Stop network. The Victoria Road garage is benefitting from new signage, marketing and social media support, and a broader range of premium tyres already in place. It has also added an MOT station and the latest vehicle diagnostic equipment, worth thousands of pounds. Grip Tyres has provided tyre services to the town’s motorists for around 27 years. First Stop said its popularity in the community was a compelling factor behind the network’s initial approach.
Eden Tyres & Servicing turns 40 this year, and in contrast to many people who reach this milestone, the company has never been in better shape. When Tyres & Accessories first published its UK tyre retail network ranking back in 2011, Eden Tyres operated just seven outlets. This number had grown to 18 by the time we published the ‘leading 25 UK tyre retail chains 2021’ table last month. A 19th outlet is due to open its doors before the year is out, and several more are in planning.
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.