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01 Oct 2012 12:08

ATS Euromaster says fleet customers have already placed 80 per cent more forward orders for cold weather tyres for winter 2012/13 compared to last year, with the switch to winter rubber beginning in earnest from today, 1 October 2012.

The nationwide tyre specialist expects its total cold weather tyre sales this year to increase by sixty per cent over 2011 volumes.  Last year already saw the company’s winter tyre sales jump by nearly 200 per cent compared with 2010, when ATS Euromaster launched its winter tyre offer for car and van fleets.

Peter Fairlie, Group Sales Director at ATS Euromaster, says: “Demand is strongest from the fleet sector, where businesses and public sector organisations have experienced the benefits of cold weather tyres for two winters running.

“Every major fleet customer which asked us to fit cold weather tyres last year is maintaining that commitment this winter – some are even rolling the policy out to additional assets.  This growth demonstrates that once managers and drivers have experienced the benefits of winter tyres, they don’t want to be without them,” he adds.

Fairlie says that fitting cold weather tyres during winter months gives car and van operators the best of both worlds, and needn’t cost the earth.  “You’re only causing wear to one set of tyres at a time,” he explains.  “Total tyre wear doesn’t increase; and if there’s a slight additional cost to the purchase of tyres, fitting, and out-of-season storage in a tyre hotel, businesses can measure that against downtime following an accident and improved tyre wear during the colder months.

“The fact that cold weather tyres stop vehicles more effectively in cold weather is a measure of performance and should make company drivers less vulnerable to bad weather.  They help to keeps fleets mobile and reduce the number of days when snow and ice keeps company drivers off the road,” he adds.

Cold weather tyres don’t just grip better than regular summer tyres when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius, they last longer too.  During winter months, the wear on normal tyres increases, reducing overall tyre longevity by up to 20 per cent.

Last winter the Met Office recorded 147 separate days between 1 October 2011 and 31 March 2012 when temperatures dropped below 7 degrees Celsius during prime commuting hours in 10 major UK cities (measured from 7am till 9am and 4pm till 6pm).

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