Fleet News

Tyre makers turn to European fleet for growth

TYRE manufacturers are looking to the European fleet market for future growth, where fleet customers are considered to be both high volume and high value. The fleet vehicle parc tends to be at the upper end of the car market, where wider, lower profile tyres offer high profit opportunities, according to a new report, European Car Tyres, from Marketline International.

The report also points out that the average mileage of a fleet car is significantly higher than the mileage of a private car, meaning higher tyre replacement rates and higher maintenance levels. In addition, fleet management and contract hire companies tend to be brand loyal, offering well established original equipment tyre manufacturers long term supply partnership arrangements.

Richard Edy, NTDA director, said: 'A new order is emerging, with premium brands fighting back, mid-range tyres holding steady and budget lines firmly established, but less dynamic than in recent years.'

The 1997 National Tyre Distributors Association survey has revealed 40% of NTDA members recorded improved sales into the car and truck fleet business, and 40% saying business has been static. Retailers said the most important buying decisions for car fleet customers were price, tyre manufacturer incentives and mileage performance. OE replacement was signalled as only the fifth consideration, and the influence of the dealer comes only seventh.

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