Post Updated 10th Jan 2014
Point-S Europe makes a big difference for the local tyre dealers
Point-S Europe came to Britain about three years ago in 2010. We as a country joined the massive European group along with Holland and followed a strong contingent of other independent tyre dealers across the continent.
The original idea started in France in 1971, when a group of independent tyre professionals who at the time were trading as solo tyre dealers, decided to join forces and create an organisation that combined a better image and more corporate image in the eye’s of the tyre buying French public.
After several meetings the group came up with the name POINT-S and was promoted as their national brand. That was 42 years ago, and the organisation has spread to every other country in Europe, becoming the largest independent tyre network and now includes the USA giving the group 2530 outlets up to 2011, the groups 40 year anniversary.
I started my first tyre business in 1979, eight years after Point-S Europe started. We expanded to three depots in a nine year period, but were soon to start getting our tyre numbers affected by the beginning of the “tyre wholesalers”. These were large companies that sold their tyres to anybody, I know we had no right supply the whole of the public with tyres , but these people drove down the tyre sales in our retail depots.
At that time we were able to buy tyres from the tyre manufacturers, getting good deals and making a healthy profit, but when the wholesalers began to flood the area, we were having to compete and this drove down car tyre prices and profit margins and one or two smaller tyre companies closed down.
The reason I talk about this is because we would have loved to have had an organisation like Point-S for us to join, I feel that being part of a group would have given us a better corporate image. However as is the case now, the general business strategy was becoming “big is better”, similar to what is happening today. We were bought out by Shell oil who were building a network of tyre and auto-centres called “Superdrive”. “Superdrive” were to compete directly with “Kwikfit” but they soon found that it was not going to be very easy handling so many tyre depots and sold them all off to “Kwik Fit Tyres” at a discount price, all within a couple of years ?.
I then bought the tyre centre that I still own today and the same thing was happening again as it did in the late seventies and eighties. The business philosophy once again is “big is better”. The large wholesalers that began life in the seventies, had now become multi-national tyre companies with the backing of big banks. The difference this time is that they now wanted to own retail sites. These tyre companies started to build up large networks of retail tyre depots to supply from their own wholesale divisions. All this kind of activity was also happening across Europe, but the difference was that Europe had an organisation called Point-S Europe .Many small and medium sized tyre retailers were able to join, this gave them the corporate image that could and did help them compete with the big boy’s.
Pellon Tyres- join Point-s in 2012
1. This brings up to today’s situation. We as tyre dealers were now looking at a new threat to our existence, “the internet”. Hundreds of web-sites are springing up selling “cheap tyres online”. Most small tyre retail companies started to develop their own web-sites, but the problem was that we were buying our tyres from the very same people who were competing with us on the internet, not a very good state of affairs. The tyre manufacturers would not deal with us because we were too small. Things were not good ! We were working for less and less and longer hours just to make ends meet. Then by chance I was speaking to a friend of mine called Lenny, the owner of Link tyres. Lenny told me about Point-S Europe. This was just what I was looking for a dealer network, that allowed us to buy better, direct from the manufacturers and with a corporate image, they also have an added bonus a competitive web-site that enables us to trade and compete online, one word- FABULOUS.
I have been a member of Point-S now for just over a year and instead of been a local tyre depot in Halifax, I now feel that we are part of a national group with all the advantages that go with it, and I am looking forward to a great future with Point-S Europe. Any tyre dealer in the UK, with the same feelings should contact Point-S.
Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business.