Mike Scanlon, retired publisher and managing editor of European Tyre Trade News magazine, one of the UK’s leading publications, has died.
The National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) recently held its annual conference, which, although traditionally staged in the UK, represents the ongoing current issues in the tire industry throughout Europe (at least until the Brexit negotiations are completed) and attracts an extensive and diverse range of delegates.
As we all know the tire market is big business around the world and none more so than in Europe. But at the same time, let’s not forget another highly important product in the automotive market as without it tires would not be able to function on a vehicle.
All over the world, making sure that vehicles maintain a legal limit in tire tread continues to be a constant problem, with tire dealers taking valuable time to measure customers’ tires. In Europe there is an ongoing crusade to find a piece of equipment which is light and easy to use that ensures a swift turnaround of tire checks in dealerships and garages.
Back in March 2016, I wrote about the ongoing battle with dangerous and part-worn tires in Europe. I highlighted a particular case in which a 19-year-old tire was fitted to a coach that had a blowout and crashed in the UK in 2012, killing three teenagers. The mother of one of the fatally injured youngsters, Frances Molly, was in the middle of a long and determined campaign to ban all tires over the age of 10 years old.
The season of tire and automotive shows is now in full swing across Europe and the general feeling in the market is that there are now far too many events for competitive companies to either exhibit in or visit.
To say that over the past few years tire safety has become one of the most important (and some would say, very focused) aspects of the market in Europe would be a complete understatement.
As I am sure all MTD readers can appreciate, Europe is currently in the grip of a number of significant business trading changes including a fluctuating economy and the very real prospect of the UK market eventually leaving the European Union.
The annual Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland is primarily a high profile car show presenting the very latest automotive technical advancements. It is also increasingly becoming a popular event in terms of tomorrow’s tire innovations, and once again most of Europe’s leading tire manufacturers were exhibiting this year.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, motorists reluctantly have their worn tires replaced either by choice or when recommended by tire dealers and are never very happy about it. The scenario that is an outright danger to road safety continues and shows no sign of being rectified.
The tire market in the UK and Europe can be a very unpredictable and challenging business environment in which to work. That makes the achievement of anyone completing 60 years in the industry as one of the UK’s most successful business entrepreneurs even more remarkable.
Every year the UK-based National Tyre Dealers Association (NTDA) holds its enthusiastically attended conference which from experience I have always considered to be a reliable measure of what is happening in the tire industry — not just in the UK but throughout Europe as the two markets are closely linked.
It would be true to say that Europe has something of a tire crisis at the moment. No, it has nothing to do with inexpensive Chinese imports or, in fact, new tire prices. The main problem right now is trying to ensure the tires on drivers’ vehicles are actually fit for purpose.