As part of its endeavours to be the “UK’s leading independent tyre dealer and car maintenance network,” in 2022 Point S Tyre & Autocare made a “substantial investment” in its independent auto centres. Point S says its members “can expect a year of further network development and progress in 2023” that builds upon this investment.
There has been talk about closing the recruitment gap in the automotive aftermarket for years. More recently certain training bodies and associations such as the NTDA have taking significant steps to renew efforts to recruit and upskill the tyre and aftermarket workforce. Now, however, is clear evidence that these much-discussed issues are not just theoretical. Rather, the lack of skill people in the trade is affecting the ability to service already depleted demand, which is hitting profitability even amongst some of the largest, fastest-growing and most profitable tyre-selling businesses.
Halfords Group plc (Halfords)’s third-quarter 2023 trading update for the 13 weeks to 30 December 2022 show that group revenue grew 38.3 per cent and like-for-like group sales were up 12.6 per cent compared with 2020 levels. Other headlines included the news that Halfords’s services business represents 50.3 per cent of group revenue, and B2B, which includes the Avayler system 28.2 per cent. At the same time, Halfords hailed its “strong Commercial Fleet performance”, with this part of the business growing 138 per cent year-on-year. However, the company reduced its full-year 2023 underlying profit before tax (PBT) guidance from £60 million to £50 million.
Effective 4 January 2023, Thomas Harbo has been appointed as CEO of Euromaster Danmark A/S. Thomas replaces Henrik Fusager, who since August 2022 has held the dual role of CEO of both Euromaster Denmark and Euromaster Switzerland.
First Stop Tyres & Car Services has confirmed that Brenden Marais has been appointed as the new national franchise manager for First Stop in the UK and Ireland. He will also act as the country manager for the First Stop network in Ireland.
Point S has officially opened its first two pilot points of sale in Brazil. Located in Recife and Vitoria, the brand-new sites mark the beginning of an ambitious five-year plan. The announcement follows the news in April 2022 that Point S had signed a master franchisee contract in Brazil with ATO, whose shareholder companies are ADSTA and Orletti.
Continental Tyres has opened its first BestDrive tyre retail centre in Dubai at an opening ceremony in the Al Quoz district. The third branch to be opened in the UAE, following two openings in Abu Dhabi, BestDrive in Dubai will be managed by Emirates for Universal Tyres L.L.C. (EUT).
ETB Autocentres has introduced a number of retail deals and initiatives to help motorists in the difficult economic climate. The 43-branch network, with sites in the Midlands, Wales and the South West, is offering free brake pads, Amazon gift vouchers and winter safety kits. It is also conducting daily competitor price checks, as well as offering flexible payment plans, acknowledging that automotive work is often an unexpected expense.
Ron Austin, owner of A&A Tyres & Auto Services First Stop, was greeting customers on Monday November 14 in his inimitably jovial manner, only to pass away two days later. Austin, who was well-known to motorists in the Cardiff area and beyond died at the age of 89, having worked until his final days. He was believed to be the oldest garage owner in the UK.
On Friday 25 November 25, 2022 B-Quik hit a benchmark number of tyre retail centres, with the opening and open store #200 in Thailand. According to the company, the latest opening will be followed by stores 201, 202 and 203 in the next week. To the pace of growth into perspective, at the start of the pandemic, B-Quik had 148 stores in Thailand. Moving forward, the expansion plans look set to continue with company representatives said: “we are ready for the next growth spurt”.
Halfords Group reports that its Avayler software is not only driving the group’s internal financial performance, but is also expanding into Europe as a product in its own right. Specifically, Halfords reports that Avayler has signed a contract to supply its services to well-known German autocentre chain ATU, which is part of the Mobivia group. According to Halfords, the roll-out is set to start in Germany through ATU’s mobile fleet.
Halfords Group has reported very strong financial figures that show group revenues amounted to £765.7 million in the first half of 2023. Of this figure, £265.2 million was generated by the Halfords Autocentres business. And what’s more, the latest projections suggest that the services part of the wider Halfords group, within which Autocentres is found, will account for the majority of revenue by 2024. Currently service-related sales represent 42.6 per cent of group revenues in the period and are expected to reach circa 48 per cent of sales on an annualised basis following the acquisition of Lodge Tyre.
During lockdown, one popular meme said: A key worker, someone whose work is overlooked and undervalued until a crisis, well that’s the clean version. As far as tyre technicians are concerned. their uniquely important role in keeping essential services running both during crises and in more normal times has definitely been overlooked by many. However, the latest Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) data suggests that’s beginning to change.
Halfords has embarked on a recruitment drive for its autocentres business to meet rapidly increasing demand for vehicle servicing, MOTs, maintenance and repairs. That means Halfords is creating 1000 new automotive technician roles over the next 12 months and is prioritising attracting retirees back into the workforce as well as challenging itself to increase the number of women in automotive technician roles. The recruitment drive, which will also target disadvantaged young people, is being backed by £3.5 million of technician training and recruitment investment over next 12 months.
Tyre Spot was ranked 8th in the prestigious Ward Hadaway North East Fastest 50 Awards medium-sized business category and 38th overall after another record-breaking year for the family-run business. The North East Fastest 50 Awards, in association with The Journal, celebrate growth, innovation and the commercial achievements of North East businesses. Based on financial data filed with Companies House, the list ranks the 50 best-performing privately-owned companies which have consistently increased turnover over the past three financial years, whilst remaining profitable.