RH Claydon will continue its expansion plan with a new 20,000 sq ft depot in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The unit, on the North Farm Industrial Estate will be the company’s seventh, taking its total storage capacity to more than 240,000 sq ft. The depot will be operational from 4 January 2022, opening for collections Monday-Friday between 8:00 and 17:30, and on Saturday mornings 9:00-12:00.
Tyres-N-Parts. This familiar-sounding name belongs to a new B2B digital sales platform aimed at car dealerships and workshops as well as tyre dealers. The Michelin-backed venture is initially launching in Germany and aims to act as an online one-stop-shop for tyres and automotive spare parts. Tyres-N-Parts believes it will become “a model that will define the future of tyre and parts retailing.”
The world of tyres and that of the silver screen seldom cross paths. They notably did so in 2010 when French director Quentin Dupieux brought us Rubber, the tale of an anthropomorphised but troubled tyre named Robert. They cross paths again in 2021, this time via a film jointly written and produced by a major name in the tyre wholesaling sector.
Hindsight is said to be 20/20, yet this isn’t a faculty that helped the tyre industry this year. Early optimism driven by vaccine rollouts quickly turned to despair as sideways-parked container ships, skyrocketing sea freight prices, rising material costs and supply shortages delivered blow after blow. As we enter the final quarter of the year we have a much clearer view of what’s going on, and what we see is that tyres will be pricier in the coming months – assuming we can get our hands on them.
Australian tyre wholesaler National Tyre & Wheel Limited (NTAW) has signed the necessary paperwork for its acquisition of Black Rubber Pty Ltd and Black Rubber Sydney Pty Limited. The transaction, which took place yesterday and is valued at AU$26.3 million (£14.5 million), brings Black Rubber’s import and retreading businesses into the NTAW fold.
American Tire Distributors (ATD), the largest replacement tyre distributor in North America, has published its first Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) report. With its release, ATD commits to “identify opportunities and invest in solutions that are designed to improve its holistic community impact while delivering unmatched customer service to the entire replacement tyre ecosystem.”
Peter Gibbons is stepping down as chief executive officer of TireHub, the US-based tyre distributor jointly founded by Bridgestone Americas and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Ted Becker, TireHub’s vice-president of sales and marketing, will become interim chief executive officer once Gibbons leaves the company in mid-November to pursue a new career opportunity.
Stapleton’s is relaunching Continental group brand Matador onto the market. The UK’s largest tyre wholesaler said it is bringing in a new Matador Customer Key Dealer Programme “designed with forward-thinking initiatives and has retailers at the centre of its strategy.” In the current trading environment, the brand has several advantages, one being the proximity of its production to the UK; all the brand’s car, van and 4×4 tyres are manufactured in Europe. Combined with Conti’s strong European supply chain infrastructure, Stapleton’s makes the point that Matador “has excellent availability with fast shipping into the UK from European factories.”
The complexity of the UK tyre wholesale sector has certainly ramped up considerably thanks to what may be termed an almost perfect storm of external factors relating both to the Covid pandemic and Brexit. With retail margins on consumer tyres already very fine, the wholesale sector has been key in keeping price increases under control, especially considering the spiralling cost of shipping. But as those in the sector know, the value wholesalers add within the distribution chain is a considerably wider subject than purely price. Arguably, the service dimension has never been more important than in the last 18 months, as retail businesses adapted to a market transformed by externalities. Tyres & Accessories asked Graham Mitchell, Micheldever Tyre Services wholesale director, about how the business is faring in 2021, starting with its performance this year.
For tyre distributors in import-heavy markets such as the UK, the sharp and sustained rise in the cost of shipping product from key sources such as China and South-East Asia is a major headache with potential market-reshaping consequences. While there have been varying levels of success in managing this headwind according to some in the market with whom Tyres & Accessories has spoken, strategically placed orders and bumper levels of stockholding can only ameliorate prices on such products for so long. Wholesalers have faced a difficult trading environment this year, which to this point has shown little sign of abating.
In order to support its ambition of becoming a true Nordic tyre & wheel specialist, independent tyre distribution firm Vimexa has become a corresponding member of the STRO (Scandinavian Tire and Rim Organization) in Sweden. Announcing Vimexa’s STRO membership, managing director Rutger Veerman said “we have realised strong growth in the Nordic (and Baltic) region during the last five years, and with our hub in Helsinki the logistics is optimal.”
Wholesaler RH Claydon Ltd. began construction work on its new depot in Carlisle this week. The facility is located within the Kingmoor Park Enterprise Zone and includes a 30,000 square foot warehouse as well as purpose-built office space.
Peter van ‘t Hof, founder of Dutch tyre wholesaler Tyre Trading International (TTI), passed away on 6 August 2021, aged 72. Van ‘t Hof founded the Numansdorp-based wholesale business in 1988, continuing a family connection to the tyre and automotive sector that dates back to 1924. He handed over management of TTI to son Peter-Alexander in 2006.
National Tyre & Wheel Limited (NTAW), the largest independent tyre and wheel wholesaler in Australia and New Zealand, has made several changes to its leadership team. The company states that these and other appointments made over the past year will help it “set a new benchmark in customer experience” that will “underwrite further growth.”
TireHub, the USA-based national tyre distributor jointly by Bridgestone Americas and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, is now three years old. Reporting the company’s experiences over the past 12 months, chief executive officer Peter Gibbons says that even though TireHub began its third year in the middle of a global pandemic, it nevertheless ended 2020 with “significant gains” compared with the industry, which was down overall.