Continental Tyres is predicting substantial growth in the cold weather tyre market over the next few years.
Traditionally accounting for less than 0.5% of the tyre market, early indications show that will treble by the end of the year, with a rise in demand from companies helping to boost sales figures.
“Winter tyres had largely been ignored by UK fleets up until the prolonged winter from December 2009 to March 2010,” said Tom Whittaker, sales manager – car fleets at Continental Tyres. “Having been bombarded with ad hoc requests for winter tyres, the major fleet leasing companies agreed to make plans to make them available for fleet customers for winter 2010/2011.
“Some fleets, such as UPS and British Gas, have already adopted a winter tyre fitment.
“Continental expects this to grow as fleets see the benefits of keeping vehicles moving safely in the cold weather.”
Jill Rodgers, marketing manager – commercial products, for Continental, said the road safety message was a compelling one.
“We believe winter tyres hold substantial safety benefits for motorists,” explained Rodgers.
“On icy roads, a car fitted with winter tyres travelling at 20mph will stop up to 11 metres before a vehicle fitted with standard tyres.
“We have seen an increase in enquiries as operators look to maximise safety and stay mobile in severe weather conditions.”