One of the most pronounced effects of the pandemic on the tyre retail business has been the uptick in online and mobile tyre business. RubberHub, a Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) project originating in Canada, launched its beta product in 2019 and went fully goes fully live this month (February 2020), with followers and test users already hailing from around Canada, the USA and the UK. Tyres & Accessories found out more from RubberHub Inc. president and founder, David Mulensteen.
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.
Lockdown has spurred many companies on to greater creativity in how they market and sell their products, and ZC Rubber is no exception. The tyre maker has launched virtual showrooms for its Westlake, Goodride and Arisun brands, giving visitors a 360-degree experience and access to more than 50 tyre products.
TecAlliance has added Instant Data Processing (IDP) in order to update TecDoc data in real time. According to the company, this increases flexibility and shortens the time to market for data suppliers and receivers. TecAlliance says IDP will be available “early in 2021”.
Today (Monday 11 January 2021), the DVSA updated its MOT guidance to clarify that “MOT centres can stay open in all areas of Great Britain, including during the national lockdown in England, the temporary lockdown in Scotland, and all of Wales in alert level 4 (lockdown)”. The same guidance always specifies that motorists are still required to get an MOT and there is no MOT exemption this time. As a result, garages across the UK should ensure that customers know that tyre fitting, vehicle repair and MOT services are permitted during the latest lockdown restrictions. At the same time, motorists need to know that there is no MOT exemption.
BA Bush, the 17th largest tyre retailer in the UK – according to our 2020 report – was amongst the first to publish its response to the news of lockdown 3.0. In essence, BA Bush reiterated that it is remaining open for business just as it did in the short “circuit-breaker” lockdown before Christmas 2020.
Tyre specialists, fast-fits and other garages will remain open despite news of the UK’s third national lockdown on the evening of 4 January 2021. Continuing the trend of the last two lockdowns, the stalwart tyre business has worked through the crisis to keep Britain rolling, with NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay reported increase take-up of the association’s key worker accreditation cards.
A couple of weeks after the end of the UK’s second lockdown, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Micheldever Tyre Services wholesale director Graham Mitchell. Since Mitchell was part of the panel in our inaugural “Kickstarting your tyre business” webinar in May 2020 at the end of the first lockdown, we thought it would be good to catch up at the end of the year and compare the differences between the first and second lockdowns. In short, while many shops closed during the first lockdown, the vast majority were open for business during the second. We also discussed 2020 as a whole and looked forward to 2021.
Hamaton Ltd, a leading TPMS product manufacturer, has shared its tips on how to prepare and take advantage of increased TPMS demand. Hamaton’s tips are summarised with the words: prepare, train and sell.
Jason Clarke was recently appointed as general manager for King David Tyres, as well as becoming a director of The Tyre Group, which is made up of Malvern Tyres, Discount Tyres, County Tyres and King David Tyres.
After weeks and months of mounting pressure on UK ports, the automotive industry is showing visible signs of strain. Specifically, Honda UK has halted manufacturing at its Swindon factory because it can’t get the right parts in-time to continue production. General UK tyre supply is likely to be impacted too.
Following what was generally regarded as an insightful presentation on the impact of coronavirus on global, European and UK tyre markets, the panel for our “New Tyres in Corona-World” Virtual Tyre Industry Conference 2020 session (James Ward, senior insight manager, GfK; Andrea Manenti, VP north region, Bridgestone; and Pravesh Amtha, Sales General Manager Consumer UK&I, Goodyear) moved into a discussion relating to how manufacturers are working on creatively supporting the tyre trade in the face of the second lockdown and ongoing pandemic- and economy-related complications.
When the Covid-19 pandemic led to the first national lockdown in March 2020, it wasn’t immediately clear what was allowed to be open. It also took time to clarify who exactly could be defined as key workers. However, it quickly became apparent that – whatever else happens – logistics fleets and blue-light services were indispensable. And these vehicles can’t get anywhere without tyres. Therefore, garages and tyre-fitters were swiftly categorised as exempted businesses and key workers respectively. Having learnt the lessons of the first lockdown, this time things are clear: Tyre garages are allowed to remain open during lockdown. And tyre specialists are key workers.