Bleak economic circumstances generally create brand strategy complications within tyre distribution. Drivers’ demand for lower priced tyres as cost-of-living pressures hit their pockets can alter the dynamics at play in wholesalers’ exclusive brand offerings, which are often pitched as premiumised products with additional benefits that make paying more than a budget price worthwhile. Yet down markets are also a time to build for the future, sowing seeds that will yield benefits when the outlook brightens. In the case of Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), a new-build warehouse in Scotland to support its business growth north of the border and a newly added exclusive distribution deal with Petlas are two ways in which the company is building for the future and managing the current market situation. Tyres & Accessories asked Graham Mitchell, MTS wholesale director, about its exclusive brands, which also include parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ Falken Tyres, General Tire, and GT Radial, as well as the development of its warehouse in Bellshill, Scotland.
Micheldever Tyre Services’ new Scottish warehouse is being fitted out with a racking solution from the Polish supplier Arcom, continuing a long-standing cooperation between the companies. The facility in Bellshill, Scotland, near Airdrie in the east of Glasgow, is the latest in a series of joint projects between MTS and Arcom; MTS has chosen a proven and versatile rack for vertical, horizontal, and column storage that can be stacked up to 9 metres high. The AR03 MIX is largely suitable for passenger car tyres, while AR04 pallets are being employed as a supplement for storing SUV tyres up to 80cm in diameter. With this combination, the warehouse can be adapted easily to changing goods and the number of stored tyres. In case of no demand for some pallets, they can be easily disassembled, folded, and transported elsewhere.
Major UK tyre wholesaler Micheldever Group has signed a pre-let agreement to lease the new Connect-70 warehouse in the Bellshill, Scotland. Under the terms of the lease, the company, part of Sumitomo Rubber Industries, will occupy the state-of-the-art logistics development for 15 years once practical completion is reached in January 2024.
Aberdeen-based haulier Dyce Carriers is to move its 100-strong fleet of HGVs and trailers to Michelin’s X Multi range of tyres. The tyres will be fitted by independent tyre dealer Redpath Tyres over the next year’s transition period. The company has conducted a two-year trial on Michelin’s truck tyre range. The trial showed mileage and performance improvements compared with its existing tyre policy, Dyce stated.
Inverness, the UK’s most northerly city, recently gained its first Eurorepar Car Service centre. Autovision, situated on Harbour Road to the north of the city centre, is widely recognised as the Vauxhall dealership serving Inverness and its surrounding villages. The site’s workshop will now also be used to carry out all-makes servicing and repair work as a Eurorepar Car Service centre.
It is not a stretch to see that the cost of living crisis is going to have a big impact on UK retail in 2023. Commercial vehicle operators will seek all sorts of economies on the road even if the price of diesel and petrol continues to fall, as it has done for the last couple of months. With their belts tightening, we may see more amalgamated logistical operations, leading to longer lead times and even fewer trucks on the road. Fife Autocentre in Kirkcaldy is encouraging motorists in major UK areas like London, Yorkshire and Scotland to be vigilant about the effects of these changes on ordinary motorists, especially in regard to their tyre purchasing decisions.
Not far outside Glasgow, Alba Tyres is taking on an increasingly influential position in the Scottish retreading business. The company has got there by virtue of the combination of a sharp focus on its core business and an increasingly efficient – and technologically driven – production process. Tyres & Accessories took the high road to Scotland to meet directors Alex and David Wilson to find out more.
At the end of January, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) staff and their work tackling waste crime were featured as part of investigative journalism programme BBC Disclosure. The programme entitled ‘Dirty Business’ highlighted problems associated with unregulated ‘man with a van’ flytipping to large scale illegal activities with links to serious organised crime such as abandoned lorry trailers bursting with up to 41 tonnes of waste. SEPA launched a dedicated intelligence and enforcement function in October 2019 to deal with those types of growing activities.
With global leaders gathered in Glasgow for the COP26 climate and sustainability summit, ecological issues have become a focus of recent media coverage. During the summit’s Transforming Industrial Sites to a Net Zero Future event, Michelin chief executive Florent Menegaux explained how the 32-hectare ex-Michelin tyre factory in Dundee (Baldovie) is now operating as Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc, a partnership between Michelin, the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council. Specifically, Menegaux set out how the transformation of the company’s former manufacturing site in Dundee sets a blueprint for a greener future at industrial sites and stressed that the venture could not have been launched by Michelin alone:
The media might have picked up on the rhetoric of “freedom day”, but the NTDA’s recent “Keeping Tyre Centres Safe” report highlights the fact that businesses will still be required to take responsibility for managing health and safety risks: “All employers will continue to have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from a risk to their health and safety and have a legal duty to consult workers on health and safety matters.” Here, Tyrepress.com takes a close look at the responsibility and choices facing tyre retailers.
A spectacular array of vintage tractors will take to the road in Scotland this coming weekend in aid of cancer charities as the Mearns Vintage Vehicle Club will be staging a Tractor Run from Laurencekirk to Brechin on Sunday, July 18. The run will start from road haulage and transport business Douglas Mitchell Limited in Laurencekirk at 9.30am and a convoy of around 60 tractors will make its way to the Brechin depot of leading Scottish tyre specialists Soltyre.
Work has begun on an ambitious new project by First Bus that will transform its Glasgow Caledonia bus depot into the UK’s largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging hub. The plans mark another major milestone on the leading transport operator’s sustainable travel roadmap and follows its pledge to only invest in zero-emission vehicles from December 2022, with a 100 per cent zero-emission fleet by 2035.
Scotland-based Soltyre Ltd has expanded into the Northern English market with the opening of a new branch in Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire. Soltyre currently runs its tyre operations from eight locations in Scotland (Aidrie, Aberdeen, Brechin, Dundee, Dumfries and Edinburgh). News of the new Sowerby Bridge location brings the company’s branch total up to nine.