Eric Roberts Managing Director of Pellon Tyres
It only hit home to me a few week ago about the achievements that 25 years of running the same business really means to me. All my staff are getting excited about our 25 years “Bash” celebration that we are holding for our local suppliers and customers at the Raggalds Inn at Queensbury on the borders of Halifax here in West Yorkshire.
It is very hard to believe that we started with two small bays back in 1989, all that time ago; and over the years we have turned the garage business into one of the busiest and trusted in the West Yorkshire area.
In the beginning we inherited a stock of cheap budget tyres and a few hundred remoulds of different sizes, but we had to sell these tyres before we could build up a better stock. However the first day we opened, it snowed here in Halifax and we were inundated with telephone calls and customers driving in to buy tyres. I only started out the new venture with two tyre
fitters and my assistant then Debbie Bastow, but we managed to get through that, with much higher than expected takings, I was very pleased and we had sold much of our budget tyres stock in the first day (a good sign).
A few years later I decided to change the company name from Pellon Tyre and Exhaust to Pellon Tyre and Autocentre, because we were by then selling other services to our customers, much in line with other companies in the same auto business as us. The next natural step to take was for us to become an MOT testing station and so I decided to buy the end part of the building that was being sold by a car body repair specialist. The sale eventually went through and I opened the two bays up, to become an MOT testing centre.
The garage and tyre business grew steadily over the years but like all other businesses in the UK we were hit by two or three recessions, (every ten years, so it seemed). As a business man I always reacted in a recession and in the nineties, I decided to become computerised and decided to purchase a computer system that was specific to our garage and tyre business. After looking at a few examples I chose the T.E.A.M. (Tyre and Exhaust Management) system. This was a great system and helped the business move forward by giving us more information, better stock control, and an accurate accounts system, both for customers and suppliers, giving us a much more efficient and competitive business.
Pellon Tyres business was up and down but the car repair side remained stable
Like so many other garage owners Pellon Tyres have tried all kinds of new methods and products to prop up our profit margins and keep our businesses competitive, these included bulk buy exhaust systems from Bosal using all different types of tyre selling techniques, but the trade was completely turned on its back with the advent of the internet and the selling of tyres and other auto products online.
Pellon Tyres had to “sink or swim” and quickly had our first web site built. Like many other small garages at the time we thought that all we needed was a website, not knowing the complexities that was involved in getting your website to rank on the search engines. My target was to attract and retain our existing tyre customers and this was helped greatly by the addition of a “tyre selector” bolted onto our website. This was supplied to Pellon Tyres by the tyre wholesaler Micheldever and meant that we could offer tyres at internet prices to our customer’s local to West
In my eyes this was a success and we were able to retain a large amount of our tyre customer base. Other things came along in the last few years. Pellon Tyres joined forces with Unipart Car Care Centres, to enable us to offer our garage customers a nationwide pricing and guarantee system, to compete with the large companies with multiple depots.
Pellon Tyres also joined a European tyre dealer network for independent tyre dealers called Point-S and now enjoy much better tyre prices that we can pass onto our customers by been able to buy direct from the tyre manufacturers, such as Avon, Goodyear, Hankook, Continental and Yokohama. These companies also supply us with technical information and promotional materials. In fact Yokohama tyres have just finished a complete re-branding of our depot here in Halifax. We are now a fitting station for Asda Tyres.
I must admit thought that although the time has flown, I believe that we are now living in very exciting times in the auto industry, with major changes taking place both in the tyre industry and the car industry in general, mostly sparked off by the desire of governments to create a better and greener planet and whether we like it or not these massive changes are going to happen in many of our lifetimes.
As for me I now take a bit of a back seat and the lady who started off with me 25 years ago is now the manageress of the Pellon Auto Centre business and she does an excellent job running things for me, together with my wife Michelle, they now operate Pellon Tyres. I now have an office at home and run the important internet side of the business and our websites, (happy days).
Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days, before starting my first business. I now own a garage and MOT testing centre, 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. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.