As we go to print on the December issue of Tyres & Accessories, Micheldever Group is marking a year since Sumitomo Rubber Industries, manufacturer of Falken Tyres for which MTS is UK distributor, bought the UK tyre distributor from previous owner Graphite Capital Management. While the sale was not unexpected, the identity of the new owner may have been somewhat surprising, though SRI’s investment in Falken Tyre Europe following the late-2015 dissolution of its alliance agreement with Goodyear makes the acquisition of a leading distributor a logical move. For Micheldever’s board, SRI was said to be an attractive new owner, with the presumption that it would offer offering longevity, stability, and consistency; as a large, well-established, high quality top-six tyre manufacturer seeking to broaden its knowledge of UK distribution with an already successful business.
An influx of new vehicle registrations has driven demand for premium car tyres upwards in the UK. Yet somewhat paradoxically, the price of these products has continued to fall, further impacting the margin retailers can make versus what they can expect on lower-priced products. Tyres & Accessories sat down with Micheldever wholesale director Alan Baldwin and wholesale marketing manager Rory Carlin to discuss the premium fightback and its symptoms for dealers. “Premium brands are absolutely in the ascendancy,” Baldwin says.
Tyre distributor has appointed Rory Carlin as the company’s marketing general manager, along with Jamie Whittam as trade marketing manager in order to develop stronger relationships with dealers. Among their priorities, the pair will focus on enhancing the support Micheldever provides to its customers.
Halfords Autocentres has launched a monthly payment scheme designed to help motorists spread the cost of their MOT and annual service. Drivers using the Privilege Service Plan will pay a fixed monthly sum, with two and three year options available, to include a full or major service and MOT for each year. Halfords will determine the monthly cost through a combination of vehicle engine size and the length of plan chosen. The service provider has also added extra incentives to the plan, including 10 per cent off repairs during the term and discounts on products such as wheel alignment, battery replacement and air conditioning services.