Kwik-Fit Fleet launched its first winter tyre programme in September and since the beginning of October demand has rocketed to the extent that more than 2,200 winter tyres a week are being fitted by technicians at the fast-fit giant.
There are also fears that a global tyre shortage could mean that there are insufficient winter tyres available to meet demand. As the world economy recovers from recession passenger car sales are increasing causing OE demand for tyres to rise significantly. This combined with an expansion in demand for winter tyres, partly as a result of new legislation has led to a worldwide shortage of tyres.
Peter Lambert, sales director for Kwik-Fit Fleet, said: “We have been advising our fleet customers since September to order winter tyres if they require them.
“While some organisations were quick off the mark, others have still to make a final decision. The rate at which our technicians are fitting winter tyres is growing daily, however with the first serious winter weather having arrived, the time has come to be decisive.
“Since we announced our winter tyre programme we have been inundated with calls from public and private sector fleets wanting to equip vehicles with appropriate tyres that are better suited to cold weather, ice and snow conditions.”
Among those is British Gas, which is fitting winter tyres to more than 200 vans operating in the Scottish Highlands and the Peak District for the first time this year to maximise driver safety and to further improve its emergency call-out ability in adverse weather conditions.
Mr Lambert said: “We have ordered thousands of winter tyres from our suppliers and they are in stock at our National Distribution Centre in Northamptonshire. However, to arrange for the appropriate tyres to be delivered to a convenient Kwik-Fit centre and for customers to make time in their busy schedules to have them fitted takes a few days. We would therefore urge prompt ordering to avoid disappointment.”
Kwik-Fit Fleet is offering a ‘hotel’ facility that sees it remove, pack, label and store each company car and van’s summer tyres in its National Distribution Centre for £40. In the spring, the summer tyres will be returned to each customer’s centre of choice for fitment with the winter tyres removed and stored until required again.