The effects of the coronavirus and Brexit have led to an increasingly severe shipping bottleneck. The inevitable result of all of these factors is price increases. Tyres & Accessories spoke with Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) wholesale director Graham Mitchell in order to find out more about what this means for the tyre retail sector.
Getting right to the point, are prices going to go up in 2021? “Undoubtedly,” was Mitchell’s immediate and definite response, with the wholesale director pointing to the three main factors behind the current and forthcoming price hikes as well as the different variables associated with each: “Containerised cost of product coming out of the far east…that’s not doubled, that’s quadrupled…a significant on-cost not to be underplayed…and then you’ve got a currency element that’s forcing manufacturing costs up as well.” The good news is that wholesale sources are confident that the containerised element is temporary, but the same cannot be said about other factors.
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.
The fourth session of the virtual Tyre Industry Conference centred on tyre recycling and the circular economy in the year of coronavirus. Joined by the Tyre Recovery Association’s secretary general Peter Taylor OBE and Mark Murfitt, the managing director of the UK’s largest tyre recycler, Murfitts Industries, our discussion focused on issues affecting collection and processing of end of life tyres in the UK, the impact of the pandemic, the damage caused by non-compliance, and future developments in tyre recycling. The UK’s tyre recycling sector witnessed a number of investments in 2020 from companies such as the newly formed Norwegian outfit Wastefront’s intention to build a pyrolysis facility in Sunderland and the UK’s Powerhouse Energy Group’s Cheshire DMG syngas plant. So noticeable was this trend that Tyrepress published its first ever Digital Feature based largely on the trend – a magazine-style online feature collecting the latest news from the segment in one place. The interest in this unglamorous but vital segment would perhaps represent a surprise to some, but several developments led to this flurry of activity.
It has been nearly two years since the Goodyear brand’s reintroduction to motorsport in Europe, and it is fair to say that operating in a pandemic was not part of the plan when this brand strategy was set out. Tyres & Accessories spoke to Ben Crawley, Goodyear motorsport director EMEA, about his experiences of the 2020 season. Goodyear re-entered European motorsport almost two years ago. While the brand on a global level has “never really been out of motorsport,” bearing in mind its six continuous decades of NASCAR in the USA, Crawley tells T&A that the thinking behind Goodyear’s reentry in more global series “fits into a wider brand rejuvenation” strategy. “We know we have this fantastic legacy and history in racing, and we want to be able to use that to reengage and provide some excitement for the brand and how we communicate the brand with consumers.” The motorsport strategy also coincided with Goodyear’s introduction of ultra-ultra-high performance (UUHP) Eagle F1 Supersport tyres, and “the natural synergies that come with high performance tyres for the road and racing.” Beyond the new product range, the “brand rejuvenation strategy includes the Blimp, racing, and broader advertising and marketing partnerships,” Crawley adds. Subscribers can view the video of this interview in the full version of this article.
Digitisation has been an extremely important trend in 2020, to say the least. Due to the restrictions implemented by global governments to combat the spread of Covid-19, the use of technology to perform all sorts of basic business functions has never been as widespread in its usage. While tyre fitting businesses have been spared enforced closure with their rightful designation as an essential service, the implementation of solid digital systems to assist operational and marketing functions has been vital – more so than ever before. Tyres & Accessories used one digital system with which many are now intimately acquainted – Microsoft Teams – to speak to the commercial director of tyre business software systems provider CAM, Steve Daly, about how the company has supported this increased digitisation, as well as the general growth in companies employing CAM’s solutions, such as e-jobsheet and Fitter-Force. This interview is also available as a video to subscribers below.
5 November saw the inaugural virtual Tyre Industry Conference, with Tyres & Accessories bringing the traditional annual conference into the virtual arena due to Covid-19 restrictions. Produced in association with the NTDA and supported by Cam Systems, our expert panel was comprised of James Ward, senior insight manager, GfK; Andrea Manenti, VP north region, Bridgestone; and Pravesh Amtha, sales general manager Consumer UK&I, Goodyear. The wide-ranging 45-minute conversation covered a lot of bases, but the first session, which was designed to focus on the new tyre market’s recent trends and statistics began with a presentation from James Ward.
Our virtual Tyre Industry Conference, in association with the National Tyre Distributors Association and supported by CAM, is available now. Click here to go to our conference page. The conference comprises four videos on Tyre Market Data, Tyre Standards, end of Life Tyres, and Tyre Recycling. If you would like to comment on any of the contents, use our social media pages and the hashtag #TIC2020, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.