Kwik Fit and its other ETEL-related brands (Tyre City, Tyre Pros and Central Tyre) have dominated the UK tyre retail landscape for years. More recently, Halfords has made our annual tyre retail ranking a two-horse race. However, Michelin’s ATS Euromaster network remains a significant player and other chains such as the Micheldever- and ultimately Sumitomo-owned Protyre have grown consistently over a long period of time. But none of that tells the whole story. While big chains generate significant levels of value and volume, franchise networks like HiQ and First Stop represent another dimension. And medium-sized chains are often so good at what they do that they end up being bought by larger businesses at a premium. And yet none of that reflects the importance of the vast majority of the market – the independent tyre businesses with one or two centres. That’s why June’s Tyres & Accessories aimed to present a more panoramic view of the undeniably indispensable tyre retail business. Here, T&A presents our annual tyre retail ranking as a way of keeping you informed of the lay of the land in the ever-changing tyre retail landscape.
Kwik Fit Fleet celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2022, and for more than 20 of those years its Tyre Management product has served large fleets. Tyre Management offers 24/7/365 support to fleets and today supports over one million vehicles.
Triangle Tyre’s new ultra-high performance tyre, the EffeXSport TH202 has achieved a milestone in the Chinese manufacturer’s development of greatly improved products targeting growth in the UK and wider European markets. The tyre has achieved the top A-grade rating for wet grip on the European tyre label on more than half of its size range. Triangle unveiled the new flagship product at The Tire Cologne 2022 in preparation for its European market introduction in 2023. It said that its latest advanced technologies had allowed Triangle to bridge the trade-off between performance and comfort, developing a tyre with “excellent results” in dry and wet braking, driving precision, stability at high speed, and wear resistance.
Tyre recycling and reprocessing specialist Murfitts Industries announced today its intention to form a “unique partnership” with French engineering group ETIA. The aim of this partnership is to deliver commercial-scale solutions for recycling end-of-life tyres to recover their raw material and energy content.
Long-standing personality within the international tyre industry Rob Henderson has died suddenly, two years after his retirement in December 2020. He was 73. Henderson had an illustrious 50-year career in a variety of tyre industry roles, including management positions with Stapleton’s, Al Dobowi Group, and latterly Enjoy Tyre. He leaves behind his devoted wife Kathy, their four daughters Kirstie, Gayle, Melissa and Gemma, and five grandchildren.
In September, Stapleton’s Tyre Services became the exclusive Great Britain distributor of Triangle passenger car and van tyres. The deal, which has been in the making for the last couple of years, will build on the strengthening relationship between Triangle Tyre and the UK’s largest tyre wholesaler. It was finalised after comprehensive testing of the Triangle range by Stapleton’s and its ultimate parent company Itochu. In recent years, the company has become the largest distributor of Triangle products in Europe. Stapleton’s states that Triangle is a “strong strategic fit in the economy segment” of its portfolio. It will make the brand available to “all customers in every channel.” Unveiling the deal, Stapleton’s hosted key dealer customers and European representatives of Triangle at PalmerSport at the Bedford Autodrome. Tyres & Accessories also attended the event, taking the opportunity to speak to Stapleton’s managing director Andy Fern, who took the reigns in the first quarter of 2020 just before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted business as usual, about the new deal and the evolution of the Stapleton’s business under his leadership.
The National Tyre Distributors Association presented the Tyre Industry Awards 2022, sponsored by Sailun Tyres, at the Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham on 6 October. Below you can view a gallery of the award winners from the evening ceremony, hosted by former BBC news presenter and triathlete Louise Minchin, NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay and national chairman Simon Wright. Click here for the list of winners, and here for the full list of nominees.
The Tyre Industry Awards 2022 were presented on 6 October at Birmingham’s VOX Conference Centre during the National Tyre Distributors Association’s 93rd Annual Dinner. The awards ceremony was sponsored by Sailun Tyres for the eighth consecutive year, while supplier member Maritime Cargo Services sponsored the dinner. Former BBC news presenter and triathlete Louise Minchin hosted the awards alongside NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay and national chairman Simon Wright. For a gallery of the winners, click here.
Triangle Tyre has signed an exclusive Great Britain distribution agreement with the island’s largest tyre wholesaler, Stapleton’s Tyre Services. The deal means Stapleton’s gets sole distribution rights for Triangle branded passenger car and van tyres within Great Britain, building on the strengthening relationship between the two companies. In recent years, Stapleton’s has become the largest distributor of Triangle products in Europe.
Continental has launched the Matador Hectorra Van, and this successor to the MPS330 Maxilla 2 is distributed exclusively through Stapleton’s (Tyre Services) Ltd. retailers. Nine popular UK sizes are available.
Nexen, which is exclusively distributed by Stapleton’s (Tyre Services) Ltd in the UK, collaborated with Petrolheadonism to sponsor Tucked at the Manor, their second show of 2022 with Nexen as headline sponsor.
Project TREE is the first attempt to establish natural rubber traceability using blockchain, and the UK is the first market where consumers can buy tyres containing verifiable sustainable rubber. Following the launch of traceable Pirelli tyres earlier this month, Hankook Tire & Technology is now distributing tyres manufactured through the project.
European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL), which owns leading tyre retail and wholesale operations Kwik-Fit and Stapleton’s, has agreed the acquisition of Murfitts Industries, the country’s leading tyre recycling company. ETEL is buying 100 per cent of Murfitts Group Ltd, the parent company of Murfitts Industries. Murfitts operates a national network recycling the equivalent of around 20 million car tyres per year. Murfitts, which processes and recycles tyres into granulate, has been a long-term provider of post-consumer tyre collection and recycling services to ETEL.
So far, the majority of our ongoing Torque from the Top series of interviews with leading players in the UK tyre business have been with executives hailing from the manufacturing side of things. This month we redress the balance by engaging with Andy Fern who is the managing director of one of the UK’s largest tyre wholesale businesses, Stapleton’s. Here he talks us through the resilience of staff and customers during the turbulent couple of years we have all experience and details the “seismic shift in the market” that has come with increase online demand from consumers.
Japan’s Itochu Corporation announced today the commercial launch of Project TREE, an initiative that uses a blockchain-based traceability system to ensure the sustainability and traceability of natural rubber. Partners participating in the Project include Itochu subsidiaries and tyre manufacturers, and the UK will be the first market to benefit.