RH Claydon has today become the exclusive UK distributor of Triangle truck and bus and off the road tyres. The change of distributor for the brand follows Tym International’s decision to cease trading on 30 October. The specialist tyre importer-wholesaler, in which Triangle took a strategic holding in 2013, announced its liquidation in early September. Tym’s managing director, Steve Eke, has since been appointed UK & Ireland sales director of Triangle Tyre Europe. The Chinese tyre manufacturer, among the country’s top five according to Tyrepress data, set up a new European team headquartered in Milan in 2017 under general manager Corrado Moglia. Commencing its distributorship, RH Claydon stated that it looks forward to building a strong relationship with the brand.
Oak Tyres is marking 40 years in business – and of consecutive years of “sales growth” in 2020. The independently owned company, which is a founder member of Grouptyre, says that its sustained progress is down to its service-led philosophy: “If we provide a better service than our competitor, great things will happen” – its guiding statement since its establishment in 1980. Today, Oak has become one of the largest independent tyre wholesalers in the UK. It has more than 500,000 sq ft of warehouse space across its Haydock, St Helens, Manchester, Leeds and Tyne and Wear sites. In the last decade in particular, Oak’s distribution of two successful brands from the Far East – Landsail and Evergreen, both exclusively distributed – has supported impressive market penetration for both. Since 2015, Oak has established its own global private tyre brand, Davanti, which at the last count is present in more than 60 countries.
There have been serious challenges to tyre distribution in 2020, and while demand has returned with the end of the national lockdown, Covid-19’s autumn rise means the spectre of spring’s market conditions looms over the winter months. This year, companies have needed to manage the operational problems posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns throughout Europe; they also needed to weigh up wildly fluctuating supply and demand. Whether there is a return to a concerted national effort similar to the UK’s actions in April and May or not, the lessons learned during this period continue to prove relevant. Meanwhile, the sector was already experiencing difficult times prior to the outbreak, with European tyre market demand flat overall in the light vehicle sector – a situation that certainly deteriorated in the pandemic. For the October magazine’s wholesale feature, Tyres & Accessories spoke to a range of players in the wholesale sector in Western Europe to look at the lessons of this year, and how recovery is progressing. We start with Micheldever Tyre Services, a leading UK player in the light vehicle tyre market especially, which has experienced a “strong” return of demand in the second half of the year, according to wholesale director Graham Mitchell.
While the challenges of the pandemic to the light vehicle markets are familiar due to the day-to-day experiences of people around Europe, commercial, industrial and agricultural markets experienced different levels of lockdown, as many companies in these sectors worked hard to reinforce supply chains. In the tyre wholesale sector, this meant distributors of products and services to these segments needed to stay strong to supply the rubber that kept countries rolling. Michael Rosenthal, marketing director of the UK and Ireland’s largest and most comprehensive distributor of off-highway tyre and wheel solutions, Kirkby Tyres, told Tyres & Accessories about the latest news from the Speke-based wholesaler.
With its AU$48.7 million (£26.7 million) acquisition of Tyres 4U assets in Australia and New Zealand, National Tyre & Wheel becomes one of the region’s largest tyre wholesalers and the largest independent, multi-branded wholesaler in both countries. The transaction was finalised in August and more than doubles National’s distribution centre footprint in the two countries, with its nine company-owned and four third-party facilities complemented by 11 Tyres 4U centres in Australia and three in New Zealand. Combined tyre volume for the Australian financial year ending 30 June 2020 exceeded 2.5 million units, with a revenue of $450 million (£247 million).
Same-day service is convenient, but Tire Group International (TGI) can go you one better. The Miami-based tyre wholesaler is now offering its customers in South Florida guaranteed deliveries within 90 minutes of ordering. It is providing this ‘TGI Fast Pass’ programme in addition to its existing twice a day delivery service.
Netherlands-based tyre wholesaler Heuver has grown through its acquisition of the Bevri Groep, a wholesaler from Zeewolde in central Netherlands. Heuver will operate the two Bevri businesses, Bevri Banden (Bevri Tyres) and Bevri Wheels, as an independent company within the Heuver Group, retaining a separate corporate identity. The wholesaler says that by combining the strengths of both companies, it can now “offer an even more complete range” of tyres and wheels.
Reifen Gundlach has resumed its exclusive distribution of GT Radial brand tyres in Germany. The new deal comes three years after Giti Tire ended their previously long-standing exclusive partnership with the wholesaler, started in 1994. Giti stated in 2017 that it wanted to to “achieve a higher market penetration with a planned realignment of the brand.” Part of the strategy was to make the GT Radial brand available through four different wholesalers. This coincided with the European entry of its eponymous Giti brand, with a special focus on the German market. At its peak, it had previously sold around a million GT Radial tyres per year, according to Gundlach statements. Now in 2020, the manufacturer has opted to resume its exclusive arrangement for GT Radial with Gundlach.
A week ago, Bridgestone announced its acquisition of 42 Reiff Reifen und Autotechnik retail outlets in Germany from the now-bankrupt Fintyre Group business. The insolvency administrator handling the Fintyre case reports that buyers have also been found for two further Fintyre businesses, Duro Reifenservice GmbH and Reifen24 GmbH.
Some ten weeks ago, German tyre wholesaler RS Exclusiv Reifengroßhandel GmbH entered insolvency as part of the Fintyre Group’s operations in Germany. It now seems that the company’s days are numbered. The insolvency administrator’s office confirmed the sale of RS Exclusiv’s headquarters site north of Hamburg to our German partner magazine, Neue Reifenzeitung. The wholesaler has quarter of a year to pack its things and go. But the insolvency administrator also reports another, more cogent reason for winding up the business.
Independent US tyre wholesaler Tire Group International is opening a new distribution facility in Tampa, Florida. The 50,000 square foot (4,650 square metre) centre will be operational as of 4 May and will carry all brands that TGI offers.
As of 1 April, Tyremax will take over distribution of Continental truck and bus tyres in the Australian market. In addition to these products being available through the wholesaler’s distribution and delivery network, Tyremax will also provide all other facets of the service in relation to product warehousing, ordering, sales, logistics and technical support.
STARCO has taken on distribution of the Alliance and Galaxy agricultural, forestry and construction tyre lines in Switzerland under a newly-negotiated agreement with Alliance Tire Group (ATG). As authorised partner for the representation and distribution of Alliance and Galaxy tyres throughout this market, STARCO will provide its warehouse and distribution facilities as well as its expertise and skills in order to make ATG’s products more accessible to Swiss customers.
Goodyear plans to acquire a tyre wholesaler in Germany. Should the deal gain approval from the relevant antitrust authorities, Goodyear Dunlop Tires Germany GmbH will purchase Weilheim, Bavaria-based wholesaler and retailer Reifen Baierlacher. The tyre maker has not disclosed how much it will pay for the family-owned business.