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Independent Tyre Centres-Where Will the UK Tyre Market be Going Next as the giants battle it out?

Independent Tyre Centres-Where Will the UK Tyre Market be Going Next?

What part will Independent Tyre Centres Have!

This has always been a subject close to my own heart, I have worked in the tyre trade now for a good 40 years and like many more like me, we started our own tyre businesses in the seventies and eighties.

So we have now resigned as a member of the independent tyre group Point-S. Due to the fact that they were becoming too large and I thought ineffective.

Independent Tyre Centres
A well stocked depot

Most of us used to work for the national companies that were then owned by the leading tyre manufacturers and then decided that we could make a go out of running our own businesses and so the story goes. Many ex managers for companies like Tyreservices a Goodyear owned subsidiary and National Tyreservices, who were then owned by Dunlop, decided that if they could run a  depot for someone else then they could do it for themselves and so looked for premises and started their own  businesses.

Here in West Yorkshire. I can think of at least six people who worked for the national  retailers. Then leaving to start their own  businesses. Some also worked for the tyre manufactures. Of course, the likes of Morris Palmer in Hull, who left Goodyear tyres to form the famous Savoy tyres ! Now run by his son. This was happening all over the UK. Revolutionized the way that tyres were sold.  To the growing market and expansion of the car market. Most households had a car by then and business was good and profitable. So, I started a business that we called Kut-Kost tyres. Accordingly, we grew into three depots and made a good living.

The advance of the tyre wholesaler.

Life went on for a few years and as we were selling more tyres. Of course, then the manufactures were offering better deals . Many of us were tempted to buy in quantity. We were at this stage having to compete with the emerging Kwik Fit Tyre Discount stores . Including the ever more competitive Nationals.

Before computers! Local newspapers would have up six different adverts. Offering all sorts of deals to the motorists. Driving down the tyre prices! Followed of course by lower profit margins. Significantly, buying containers was a way of increasing our bottom line.

At this stage we were all on a different level and knew who was the competition and could price our products accordingly to compete. What we didn’t see was the growing number of

Independent Tyre Centres
A very busy tyre bay

wholesalers that were springing up all over the country and were growing at an alarming rate. I remember my first visit to Southam tyres in the old Rolls-Royce factory in the midlands and was in awe at the amount of stock he carried. Reg Bond also started his empire at round about the same time forming Bond International from an old warehouse in Pocklington ,North Yorkshire and the rest is history.

Many  retailers started to buy the better deals shifting their purchases from the manufacturers to the  wholesalers in our relentless search to maintain our profit levels.

Many other things were happening, but looking back I think that this was a mistake and it gave too much power and the wholesalers, who later decided to form their own retail outlets in direct competition to ourselves, but we are all fighters and with some ducking and diving we always seem to come up with some alternative supplies of tyres and battle on.

I then sold Kut-Kost to an emerging national company owned by Shell Oil, called Superdrive . Superdrive was to form a direct completion to Kwik-Fit, but failed to get the project together and eventually my old depots were bought from Superdrive by Kwik-Fit. I then purchased and developed the business that I am in now, Pellon Tyres here in Halifax and 25 years on fell that we are going through the same torrid times that we had to endure in the early days.

In the past two years the tyre market has seen some huge changes.

These changes have been brought on by the advent of the internet and the growing trend for the motorists to buy online. I have no problem with that and indeed as one of the Norths Independent Tyre Centres. I sell tyres online but not at a national level. But in the Yorkshire catchment area. The internet has now made it possible to buy tyres from the rest of Europe. of course, who are now in direct competition with the British wholesalers. In my opinion it is a good thing and drives down the price of tyres . So, making the tyre manufacturers the companies who are once again making the good profits. Of course, as they did in years gone by when they would deal with retail outlets direct.

More disruption in the tyre World ahead of us

I must admit that I was feeling vulnerable as I was stuck out on my own in little Halifax. Not knowing who was going to buy out what. Just like the seventies and early eighties. The next thing to come along! Has been the emergence of the Giant supermarkets wanting a slice of the tyre cake.

I must confess that I have embraced the chance of earning extra profit by fitting for these companies. But I have a feeling that we may be “bitten in the bum” by these companies. The latest rumor that I picked up. Was that the Tesco/Blackcirces combination were going to turn some Tesco sites into tyre fitting operations. Similar to Costco’s operations (as an update Michelin tyres have now bought Blackcircles). (So to update this then the Tesco-Black Circles deal never happened).

If this is a fact then I fear that it will start a new round of competition from the big tyre companies. All jostling to keep up their tyre numbers. I meanwhile think that I have made a good move by once again after many years dealing with the big five manufacturers. With all the benefits that brings with it.

As I said earlier we Independent Tyre Centres are tough and I am sure that whatever is thrown at us (now including the Corona Virus). We will struggle until these things disruptions pass, and we see better days again.

Conti Eco Contact 5-Motorists will be Saving fuel with these Continental Tyres

Conti Eco Contact 5

Conti Eco Contact 5
Another one of the great products developed by Continental Tyres

Saving fuel and reducing running costs is important to drivers. Our ContiEcoContact5 eco tyres are engineered to provide the best fuel economy possible.

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Conti Eco Contact 5 and Michelin have amongst the best Rolling resistance in the  World of tyres

Rolling resistance is a word that we in the tyre World have been familiar with for many years now. It is only in recent years that the words have come to be synonymous with

Conti Eco Contact 5
Conti Eco Contact 5 fuel savers only perform with the correct tyre pressures

saving energy and less fuel consumption. The Conti Eco Contact 5 is the new fuel saving tyres from the Continental tyre company.

In recent years tyre manufacturers have published the rolling resistance of each individual tyre that they bring out. The tyres have to put the fuel efficiency on the left hand side of the new labels, the best starting at A and then downwards.

Over the years Michelin tyres have always been amongst the top performance when it comes to energy saving tyres with Bridgestone a close second as shown in the figures bellow from the excellent: The daily green website:

The best performer was the Michelin Energy Saver A/S, which delivered 53.8 mpg in a Prius, meaning a 4.74% improvement. The Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 was next, with 53.5 mpg and a 4.12%. On the other hand, both the Michelin HydroEdge with Green X and the Goodyear Assurance Comfor Tred (terrible name) actually did worse (down .59 and 2.64% respectively) than the control tires… http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/cars-transportation/low-rolling-resistance-tires-461009

Conti Eco Contact 5

Please do not forget though the thing that makes all tyres more fuel efficient is to keep your tyres correctly inflated at all times and that includes the Conti Eco Contact 5

See on blog.conti-online.co.uk

Which Tyre Choice-New tyres, Remould tyres or Part Worn tyres?

Which Tyre Choice

Which Tyre Choice

New tyres, Remould tyres or Part Worn tyres? Which Tyre Choice

To start off this article, Which Tyre Choice? I am going to say that in my opinion. So, you are better to use remoulded tyres (re-tread tyres have a new tread bonded to the old carcass remould tyres area full bead to bead re-mould ). Hence, than to buy un-regulated part worn tyres. If the part worns are sold under the 1994 laws that govern part worn tyres then that is fine. The 1994 legislation comes under the following law… The legislation

The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994. Set out minimum safety standards for the supply of part-worn tyres. To comply, it is important that you and your staff are fully aware of these Regulations.

“Under the Regulations. it is illegal to supply any part-worn tyre that is capable of being fitted to a motor vehicle or trailer unless the conditions detailed below are met”..

This only applies to the UK of course; the States will have their own legislation. Remould tyres are a good substitute for the older and vehicles that go off road. Remould tyres were at one time very popular. Older cars and vans and the increase in cheap imported new tyres from China. So, put an end to many remoulding companies here in the UK.

Which Tyre Choice
Tyre remoulding plants like this are very clean and modern and produce a safe product, would this be your Which Tyre Choice

Another good point about remoulds. Consequently, is that most tyres fitted to aircraft (large or small) are fitted with remould tyres. Of course, and the same applies to trucks. Many of the trucks that you see hurtling down the highway. Will be fitted with remould or re-tread tyres. You may have noticed the strips of tread. That are discarded at the side of our motorways, these are the tread that has stripped off the tyre carcass usually due to the tyre having a puncture or it has been run under inflated which has caused it to overheat and therefore come apart.

Which Tyre Choice-New tyres are what they are

brand new tyres and therefore will be extremely safe to use .the failure rate of new tyres is very low, in fact I have not seen a genuine faulty tyre for a few years now. Remould tyres are also very well made by the few companies that remain making them, the failure rate for car and van tyres is a bit higher than new tyres, bur still not worth bothering about. As I said earlier the problem I have is the sale of un-regulated part worn tyres, otherwise you will be safe on new or remould tyres. For further Which Tyre Choice and tyre safety information see…www.tyresafe.org

So in my opinion properly governed and legal part worn tyres have a part to play when funds are running low as in the Corona Virus.

 

Citroën DS3

Citroën DS3 R3T to power the Junior WRC this year – World Rally Blog

Citroën DS3

Citroën DS3

All Citroën DS3 cars will be factory prepared to set standards and rules and all teams will use Michelin tyres and fuel supplied by the FIA‘s partner in crime . FIA claims this step is going to make JWRC even more accessible… no, hold on, …

eric roberts‘s insight:

This will be a great site watching the Citroen DS3’s racing

Significantly, this is a great announcement from the FIA. So, the Junior World Rally Championships . Hence, will be the cars used in this category of the junior rally championships.

Citroën DS3,Michelin
Michelin man on a Citroen DS21

Interestingly, the car will be a special front wheel drive turbocharges version. In essence, of this very popular French car. Consequently, this Citroën DS3 has been prepared by Citroen. Having to be used by all the participants. So who want to compete in this class of rally racing.

The Citroën DS3 will only be able to use Michelin tyres. But they are amongst the best tyres in the world anyhow. The new cars will benefit from having special springs and shock absorbers with modernised Brembo brakes fitted.

Citroën DS3

This new car will also be fitted with super lightweight alloy wheels. Including, 18 inch tyres and will have a 20 mm wider track for better stability and cornering. The engine will also be improved by the addition of a larger turbocharger to improve the engines combustion.

So, Citroen have always been a good looking car to me. Of course this may be the French deign flare in them. All Citroen new models appear to out with some great new design ideas including on board equipment and colour designs.

The Citroen DS3 R will be available to the public and is expected to be on sale at around the £23 to £24,000 mark.

Just as a footnote I was interested to see that Vauxhall have brought out the “Adam”, with colour mixes and matches very similar to the Citroën DS3 ?

See on www.worldrallyblog.com

Winter tyres grip-can help you get a grip in the cold and the Snow- Evening Telegraph

Winter tyres grip

Winter tyres grip can help you in the cold
Evening Telegraph On damp or wet roads, tyres grip differently — and the braking distance is substantially longer.

Winter tyres

It pleases me very much to see how the British public have responded to the efforts of the owners of tyre outlets and the many motoring publications, that have been

Winter tyres grip

Citroen fitted with 4 Yokohama winter tyres

advising the public about the advantages and safety features of fitting winter tyres to your car.

What started me off committing myself to this subject was the massive increase of traffic on our roads, combined with the worsening winters that we were getting. This in my eyes makes road safety, especially where brakes and other road safety factors are concerned. Cars are travelling and accelerating at much faster speeds and therefore requires better braking systems and tyre technology. The latter is probably my specialist subject and a subject that I am passionate about, therefor the advice that I give to drivers and my customers is in their best interest.

Winter tyres grip

Winter tyres grip (Photo credit: Travelling Steve)

The subject of whether or not to fit winters in November time or not, to me is a “no brainer”. Here in West Yorkshire winter will shortly arriving , in fact this morning the local council gritting trucks are out gritting the icy roads. Winter tyres have a special compound that has silicone added to the rubber compound.

Winter tyres grip

Of course,this ensures that the winters remain flexible in freezing weather conditions, and are still able to maintain there grip on icy or snowy roads. On the other hand a summer ones that do not have additives will begin to harden when the temperature drops below 7 degrees centigrade, when Winter tyres grip . The effect is similar to your wiper blades, we all know that in cold weather that your wiper blades become very hard and will not clean the windscreen, all other rubber items have the same affect, and do not work correctly in cold weather.

If the tyre does not flex because of the cold, then the tread will not be able to do the job of gripping, especially in cold weather or on a very dirty rainy day when you may be traveling at 70 mph on a motorway. Winters will flex and give you the full tread onto the road, together with a much better designed tread pattern made especially for wet and snowy winter conditions, there is no doubt that Winter tyres grip . You owe it to yourself and your family to be as safe as possible on our very busy roads in winter time, none of us know what the weather will throw at us on any given day,(not even the weather man)

Eric Roberts members of Tyresafe.org. 

Toyota Yaris Clutch Problem

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles.

Driving in Winter

Quality Winter Tyres -Autocar Says that Winter Tyres Really Work for your safety in winter- Etyres

Autocar extols virtues of Quality Winter Tyres

“I was running a long term BMW 1M at the time, and at BMW’s insistence the car was fitted with a set of

The Bridgestone Blizzak Quality Winter Tyres are a great choice.

Michelin Alpin winter tyres.

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Winter tyres

Of course, there has never been any doubt about Quality Winter Tyres . Significantly, including the fantastic job that they do when winter arrives. Including, most in the Northern hemisphere, no matter what country you live in.

It is always an advantage when great car magazines !

Quality Winter Tyres

The likes of Autocar reinforce what us tyre experts have been saying for years. So. the reason that we tend to harp on about Quality Winter Tyres. Importantly, is the safety aspect of the product. These days the cars are getting much faster and powerful and we also have had the recent influx of SUV’s and crossover cars. These vehicles are next to useless when it comes to coping with the winter conditions of snow and ice. They are large and powerful and are absolutely useless in the snow without Quality Winter Tyres fitted.

Quality Winter Tyres are now an essential safety commodity

Significantly, to be used on our modern day vehicles. Winter tyres will even give you  significantly safety advantage when driving on the motorway on a stinking wet day. So must be considered before the winter sets in. We at Pellon Tyres in Halifax recommend a couple of makes that have been proven to us over the years. They are Nokian and Jinyu ! Although Jinyu are an economy brand. Importantly, we have tested these on our own vehicles over the past few years.

 

Of course winter is on its way yet again! So, I wonder what the 2020 winter will bring us. However it is important to keep you and your family safe and consider winter tyre if new tyres are required.

Winter Tyres Work- Less Accidents when Cold Weather Tyres are fitted before winter arrives.

Winter Tyres Work

Winter Tyres Work


Winter Tyres Work but this car struggled? Last winter saw snow like this at Sowerby near Halifax

Accident data strengthens Winter Tyres Work argument,

 

Snow and ice were the cause of more than 6,000 road accidents in Great Britain last year, according to statistics issued by the Department for Transport 

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Snowing scenes like this call for “Winters to be fitted ” 

Winter tyres have in the past three years helped millions of motorists to

make safer journeys and arrive home safely, remember Winter Tyres Work . We are now approaching the time, usually November time when you should fit your winter tyres, or if you do not have any then you should consider buying yourself a set.

Even if you can’t afford a set of four then it is it is still a better and safer proposition to fit a pair on your drive wheels. Out of all the thousands of customers that have had winter tyres fitted, I have never had a single complaint about the  performance, in fact most drivers will give them a raving revue.

Winter Tyres Work
When the weather gets this bad then Winter Tyres Work

This is one of the reasons why the fleet companies are fitting winters to their fleets? Winter Tyres Work . They know that it makes sense to fit them for the safety aspect and also they know that it will benefit the drivers, when they are out in snow and also wet weather, and when the fleets buy them you know they must be good as they will not waste a penny unless it is necessary.

Winter Tyres Work its a fact

We at Pellon Tyres here in Halifax West Yorkshire recommend that you should go for an economy winter tyre such as Jinhu winters if you are on a low budget, or an excellent mid-range tyre is the Nokian winters  and for the SUV or larger sedan type of cars you could look no further that choosing a leading make such as Michelin or Pirelli winters , they are all excellent products.As the article says there was 6000 road accidents here in the UK,due to snow and ice, according to the Department of Transport (DFT)

See on www.fleetnews.co.uk

Big Five Tyre Makers+Back in Front where they belong+Big tyremakers are regaining their grip

Big Five Tyre Makers

Big Five Tyre Makers

Big Five Tyre Makers

There is no doubt that in my long presence in the tyre industry. Then the top five tyre companies have always been in contention. Hence, for the top spot.

Whether it be on numbers sold or quality then the top five manufacturers have kept in front. Therefore the likes of Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, Bridgestone and Pirelli.

One of the main reasons is because premium car manufacturers tend to stick to premium car tyres. Hence, for the original equipment tyres they choose.

Consequently,there has begun to be a wider variety of OE tyres chosen in the mass market car sector. Previously, most car manufacturers have stuck to the top five tyre manufacturers.

Big Five Tyre Makers could it change

As this has already started to change. manufacturers that were previously labelled as “mid range” tyres are now appearing on new car models. Especially,if the country of origin is the same. Indeed this is how the big five started out. With Michelin supplying the mass car markets in France. Including Citroen and Renault. Pirelli had a good foothold with supplying Fiat and Alfa Romeo cars.

Of course in Germany then the huge car makes of Mercedes and  BMW, not forgetting VW were supplied by the giant Continental conglomerate. Goodyear had a firm hold of the North American market, before going global. Japan cars were coming out as original equipment on famous car brands such as Toyota and Nissan.

In recent years the mid-range and budget tyre market has increased with world demand as the car industry has flourished. Including, the introduction of the new tyre labeling laws. This manifested itself with the shock that some of the budget brands had just as good a rating as the big 5. Causing some embarrassment to say the least. Going forward this could very well encourage mass market car manufacturers to look closer at the budget brand tyres. Especially, if they have similar good looking results on the new labels.

We at Pellon Tyres have noticed that consumers will take these labels into consideration when choosing tyres. In my opinion this could lead to the likelihood to see a change in the original equipment tyres. of course, that mass market car manufacturers may choose?

Car makers under pressure to bring down costs

Under constant pressure to bring costs down, car manufacturers may feel able to justify to consumers.That the economy brands will deliver the same performance as the more expensive mid-range. Not forgetting the premium brands. In my opinion though the top five companies also lead the way in tyre technology. As a result, they are always looking at innovative ways of improving their tyre products,

A great example of this is the tremendous effort that Pirelli have put in to the F1 racing scene. This involvement has given great confidence to the general public  when buying Pirelli tyres.

Consequently, there is actually much more to a tyre’s performance than just wet braking. Including rolling resistance and external noise, but it is often first impressions that count. Especially when people are trying to save money. Of course, the fact that surveys have so far shown that many drivers don’t even know about the tyre label. Although this is improving in recent times.

To summarize, I think that the tyre buying public will support the better products that the big five can offer. Including the growing mass SUV market. Some of the tyre sizes are over 20 inch and require great skills to manufacture tyres that are quite whilst giving great performances on faster models such as the BMW’s and Jaguars.

Vintage cars visit Pellon Autocentre

Michelin Tyres Development-Set their Targets High as far back as the Thirties

 It is no surprise to the older drivers amongst us that Michelin Tyres Development has always been at the forefront of tyre design 

Michelin Tyres Development
This early Citroen ran on the Michelin Tyres Development XAS tyres

Ever since I started work as a junior tyre fitter all those years ago. So, I have marveled at the skill and professional work. That Michelin Tyres Development  have put into their products. Even going back before my time ! French tyre makers were at the top of tyre development.Subsequently, all the other tyre companies were playing catch-up.

Enter the first steel belted radial that started it all off for Michelin tyres.

This was to be the tyre that changed their history. Including the great American tyre makers of the time. Of course, this new tyre from Michelin tyres was to be a far cry from the cross ply. Significantly, made by most other European tyre companies . Including, the Bias-belted tyres that were been developed in the USA.

The new Michelin Tyres Development was to be known as the Michelin”X”. Consequently, first appearing in 1949 (a year after I was born). This tyre would revolutionize the tyre industry ! With a product that would last longer and prove better car handling. Especially, for the type of suspension that was used on European cars.

This tyre was to be fitted as original equipment to Lancia and Citroen cars and also to the Mercedes 190 SL models.

It took a good ten years before the other tyre makers started to catch Michelin Tyres Development up, all trying to copy the steel belted “X” tyre.

Compared to the cross-ply tyre the radial gave many advantages. They  gave a much better mileage and road holding, ( I must admit that when I was in my early tyre fitting days. I can remember drivers complaining about Michelin  being bad in wet weather ?). This also gave added bonus of lower fuel consumption, a great

Michelin Tyres Development
The original Michelin Tyres Development x tyres

bonus for some of those old gas guzzling cars.

This is also the same time that imported cars were coming into the UK cars such as the Citroen 2 CV and Renault Dauphins.

More reading…The Dauphine took over from the 4 CV in 1956, but not as a replacement. The name dauphine (heiress) was highly significant. Release was a major event on the motoring scene, and followed up by a successful career on French and export markets.  

Dauphine played its successor’s role to the full, boasting all the latest features of the epoch, such as adjustable seats, heating, and an automatic gearbox. The finish was very smart, with a red and black steering wheel and matching seats. The dashboard layout was uncluttered, and the interior roomy.  

Dauphine was a four-seater, with rear bench and two separate seats at the front. In January 1957, the US motoring weekly The Motor crowned it the “prettiest little four-seater in the world”. Sure, it was beautiful, elegant and shapely, totally in keeping with spirit of the 1960s.”…http://www.renault.com/en/vehicules/hier/pages/renault-dauphine.aspx

The Dauphin did not do too well in the “Cold Damp British climate”

So, soon had a bad reputation for bad rust. But it did come out on Michelin tyres, and I will never forget. Of course, the first time I had to remove one of these products  from the rim. The tyre just fell off the wheel it was so easy to do. A big improvement on the struggle we had when fitting Dunlops . In those days we only had a hand held tyre bead breaker and some tyre levers, balancing was carried out on a small “bubble” wheel  balancer which I still believe never really worked.

To conclude Michelin Tyres Development have never looked back and in the early days. Because of their better cornering they were used in the early motor-sport cars with great success.

Bald Tyres Can KILL !

Bald Tyres-and Rain Soaked Roads = AQUAPLANING

Bald Tyres

Bald Tyres

Tyres like this are dangerous and presented to us on a fairly regular basis?

Bald Tyres-Change your tyres at 3 mm to avoid aquaplaning

As we all know, then this has been one of the wettest days of the year here in the UK. I say this because when I was driving along the M62 motorway I noticed that many parts of the motorway were flooded and had large areas of standing water. On all the carriageways. This meant one thing to me “AQUAPLANING”.

Unfortunately, we know in the tyre industry. That many motorists are putting off buying new replacement tyres. All our sales figures are down. So the mixture of bald tyres on these very wet roads is a disaster waiting to happen. As I am writing this blog some motorists will be experiencing aquaplaning when driving along the motorway at speed with no tread left on their tyres, as I say this is a disaster waiting to happen and it will happen, “mark my word”

What is aquaplaning on Bald Tyres ?

Bald Tyres

A glass road is used to film the tyres on test by the tyre manufacturing companies to test for aquaplaning. this picture shows the tyre from underneath as it drives over the flooded glass road.

Of course, aquaplaning is a word that became synonymous with a Goodyear Tyres advert in the 1970s. Now becoming a very important word.because of our changing climate and faster roads with increasing traffic numbers. Aquaplaning, means that your wheel loses contact with road surface. In affect, due to a thin layer of water between the tyre and the road surface.

The driver loses control of his car very often causing an accident. Certainly, a good tyre with more than 3 mm of remaining tread.Of course, will push the water away as the car drives through the water at speed.  Giving good grip and safer driving  conditions. All the leading  manufacturers design their tyres with aquaplaning (Driving in Wet Weather) as one of the main aspects of design.

Michelin  have even developed a system called “the anti-surf system” to enable their products to give maximum grip when going through areas of static water on the roads, this system is built into the Michelin Pilot sports 3. This tyre has also got added shoulder design to help push the water away and help delay the onset of aquaplaning.

 

Eric Roberts

Van Wheel Alignment Including Suspension