Electric car owners could get more than 1,000 miles of free driving per year following the rollout of a ground-breaking complimentary car charging network. Volkswagen announced last year it had partnered with Tesco and Pod Point to install around 2,400 charging points for electric cars.
Phillip K Dick may well have been thinking far further into the future than the current popularisation of electric cars when he wrote his famous novella “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, however the rise of big data alongside electric and autonomous vehicles means the most advanced cars of today have an increasing amount in common with the artificial intelligence in the source material for the film Blade Runner.
Volkswagen and Tesco have announced the development of the largest UK retail electric vehicle (EV) charging network. The two companies will roll out more than 2,400 EV charging bays across 600 Tesco stores within the next three years.
Autoparts UK brought some romance to its customers recently with a successful Valentine’s Day promotion. Garages had to spend £99 on any Autoparts product to receive a bottle of ‘bubbly’ and box of chocolates.
Bandvulc Group has become the first tyre company to join the SEDEX ethical business information exchange organisation. Bandvucl reports “Our involvement with SEDEX and this sharing of information was initiated by our customers Tesco and as a result we at Bandvulc believe we are the first transport industry supplier to become compliant.”
Following the news that Blackcircles.com opened its fourth PitStop Click&Fit tyre bay in Glasgow at the end of June, Tyres & Accessories spoke with the company’s founder and managing director Mike Welch in order to find out more about the company’s plans and hints that it is courting investment this year.
Blackcircles.com has opened its fourth tyre fitting Tesco PitStop, and first in Scotland, at Tesco Extra in Silverburn, Glasgow. The PitStop is operational and opened for bookings on Saturday 28 June, with the first tyres being fitted on Monday 30 June. The first PitStop Click&Fit tyre bay was opened in Milton Keynes in July 2013. Since then, additional PitStops have been opened at Tesco Extra stores in Bar Hill, Cambridge and Handforth, Cheshire.
Blackcircles.com has announced a growth in revenue of 20 per cent to £27.8 million (versus £23.2 million in 2012). The online tyre retailer said that the latest full year results mean its revenues have a compound annual growth rate of 22 per cent since 2008. EBITDA increased to £1 million. The results follow the announcement of former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy’s appointment to the Blackcircles.com board.
The first “Click & Fit” tyre service has launched at Tesco in Bletchley. The service allows customers to order tyres and make a fitting appointment through Tesco’s tyre partner Blackcircles’s website, before dropping off their car at a “Pit Stop” fitting bay at the supermarket. Tesco told local news source the Milton Keynes Citizen that customers could expect discounted tyre prices and Clubcard reward scheme points as extra incentives for using the service. An idea in the works since the companies partnered on the Tesco-Tyres.com website in January 2011, the potential for rolling out this model nationwide is clear, given the supermarket giant’s UK prominence.
Blackcircles.com managing director Michael Welch has hinted that company may employ a closer relationship with leading supermarket Tesco as one way of moving towards its goal of £100 million (around 10 per cent of the UK market) in the next five year. Welch revealed the plans in an interview with The Telegraph published on 26 February, which also gave details of the guidance the company has received from a number of ex-Tesco executives and particularly former CEO Sir Terry Leahy.
According to The Independent, former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy is providing “mentoring services on an ad hoc basis” to Blackcircles.com. Leahy, who the newspaper describes as being an “acquaintance” of Blackcircles.com managing director Mike Welch, also disclosed that he owns a stake in the online tyre retailer. Yet while admitting being a shareholder for some three years now, Leahy stressed to the newspaper he had “no hand” in orchestrating the Tesco Tyres partnership between Blackcircles.com and the supermarket giant. Further distancing himself from potential mutterings over conflicts of interest, Sir Terry reports he informed Tesco chairman David Reid upon acquiring his share in Blackcircles.
Following a gestation period of some five years, a new retail venture entered the UK tyre market in January 2011. Blackcircles.com has announced the launch of Tesco-Tyres.com in partnership with Britain’s leading retailer, a venture that offers access to Tesco’s massive nationwide customer base – including its 13 million Clubcard holders. Speaking with Tyres & Accessories, Blackcircles.com founder and managing director Mike Welch reflects on what the realisation of this long-held goal means for his company and what the future for Blackcircles may look like.
The relatively new motorsport known as drifting, whose championships have been reported on these web pages recently, is about to get its own track days thanks to Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire. Emerging from its origins as an underground recreation, drifting is now described by the track’s administrators as “a mainstream art-form,” boasting its own championships, computer games and dedicated Scalextric set. Thanks to Santa Pod, becoming a drifting virtuoso, or at least being able to hold your car in a controlled slide, has become a much more attainable goal.
Learning to drift can be quite tricky and expensive, particularly when a learner gets it wrong. Santa Pod states, “Drift competitions require a pretty high standard before you can enter, most drift-schools add a considerable cost, and neither the local constabulary nor your local Tesco will appreciate you doing it on their turf.”
The Pirelli National Rally, based in Carlisle alongside the manufacturer’s major British plant, will be run under a new name in 2009 after it was announced that it will be integrated into the ANCRO Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship. Founding members of ANCRO, the Cumberland Sporting Car Club have decided to rename the event the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria. This was how the rally was known when it was originally part of the ANCRO series.
In addition to the Gravel Rally Championship, the Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship and the Dunlop/Gambia British Historic Rally Championship will be represented with stages at the Pirelli Tour of Cumbria.
The woman suing Tesco for disability discrimination (see our April 10 report here) has been awarded £1,000 after a court agreed the company’s refusal to allow staff to inflate her vehicle’s tyres was a discriminatory act. Tesco staff had told Jenni Crowly their inability to assist was an insurance and health and safety related issue.
While Mrs Crowly has expressed her delight in the outcome, a Tesco spokesperson commented, “we’re disappointed with the decision and will consider our options.”