ATS Euromaster has won the Innovation Award in the 2011 Van Fleet World Honours, after becoming the first national fast-fit provider to launch a fully managed cold weather tyre service for UK fleets.
Speaking at the Awards, Van Fleet World Editor, John Kendall, said: “ATS Euromaster took a bold lead last year by investing heavily in a distribution and storage infrastructure for winter tyres before the cold snap began and as a result was able to supply 20,000 units in 2010/11.
“While it may be inconvenient if a car driver can’t get to work in the snow, for van fleets it is a crisis that brings business grinding – or sliding – to a halt. Fleet managers will be reassured to know that ATS Euromaster has doubled its investment in UK stocks for this winter and as a result, its name may well be on thousands of fleet managers’ lips if the cold weather we experienced last winter returns again,” he added.
Collecting the award at the RAC Club in Pall Mall, Peter Fairlie, Group Sales Director at ATS Euromaster, said: “When we launched our cold weather tyre offer no other fast-fit service provider was promoting winter fitments for fleets – nor had the necessary infrastructure of ‘tyre hotels’ to enable seasonal storage.
“Naturally, we regard it as a great compliment that several months after launch, other service providers and vehicle manufacturers were rushing to follow our lead.”
ATS Euromaster developed its winter tyre offer around the wealth of expertise within the Euromaster Group, which already supplies over 1.5 million cold weather tyres annually across Europe.
Prior to winter 2010/2011, ATS Euromaster’s domestic cold weather tyre volumes had been small and entirely retail-focused. After launching the dedicated fleet offer, cold weather tyres sales rose 955 per cent to approximately 20,000 units.
Key to ATS Euromaster’s success has been its comprehensive fleet offering, which involves a lot more than simply fitting tyres. Every summer or winter tyre removed receives a thorough safety inspection before being stored for the season in a series of tyre hotels located throughout the network. Staff also analyse customer’s average tyre damage rates to ensure sufficient stocks are ring-fenced to support their fleet throughout the winter.
Furthermore, the strength of ATS Euromaster’s 1,000-strong mobile service fleet – the largest of any tyre service provider in the UK – means customers have the option of having their cold weather tyres fitted on-site, thereby negating any hassle or associated vehicle downtime during the changeover.
The benefits of winter tyres kick-in as soon as the temperature drops below seven degrees Celsius, as the larger percentage of silica in their rubber compound prevents the tyre from hardening in the same was as synthetic rubber can in regular tyres. This enables them to maintain better traction throughout the cold weather, as well as when driving on snow, slush, ice and wet roads.
The Fleet World Honours are presented annually to those motor manufacturers, service companies and individuals who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their sector. The judging panel is chaired by Steve Moody, Editor of Fleet World, and includes Ken Rogers, Natalie Wallis, John Kendall, Alex Grant and Ross Durkin from the Fleet World editorial team.
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