MICHELIN TYRE DEALERS VISIT BALLYMENA PRODUCTION SITE
Stoke-on-Trent – May 14, 2013
A group of 27 independent truck and bus tyre dealers visited Michelin’s factory in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, on Friday 10 May 2013. The Michelin Truck Professional (MTP) dealers were invited to see Michelin’s new X MultiWay 3D steer and drive tyres being manufactured.
The visit follows an unprecedented nine month period which has seen multiple new Michelin tyres launched, including the high-grip X MultiWay 3D regional tyre and the X Line Energy long distance fuel saving range which offers a low total cost of ownership to fleet operators.
Guy Heywood, Commercial Director of Michelin’s truck tyre division, told assembled dealers: “We’re competing in a fiercely competitive market, but one in which we have grown Michelin Group market share by three per cent in the last three years.
“Operator confidence following a prolonged and difficult economic period is rising and we’re going to market with the strongest product line-up in our history, combining fuel efficiency and longevity with high levels of safety. We call this Michelin Total Performance.”
The MTP network is central to Michelin’s future growth strategy in the UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI), representing 110 accredited service points, supported by a fleet of 350 service vans.
Richard Bezzant, MTP Programme Manager, welcomed two new dealer groups to the network; Lodge Tyre in the West Midlands, and Huw Lewis in mid-Wales. He said: “During the second half of this year we are targeting further network expansion with plans to add additional dealer partners in the North of England and the ROI.”
Any new MTP partners will be audited to ensure they meet the high standards demanded of the network. The independent inspection programme is conducted annually to guarantee the highest standards of customer service and tyre proficiency. Consistent across Europe, the audit recognises approved specialists as Michelin Certified Centres.
MTP dealers enjoy full access to Michelin’s extensive training programmes covering everything from health and safety to customer care and team management – rated amongst the best in the tyre industry. MTP dealers also get exclusive rights to sell Kormoran tyres – a mid-range brand manufactured by the Michelin Group.
In addition, MTP dealers are supported by the largest team of truck and bus-specific Account Managers of any tyre manufacturer in the UK. This customer-facing Michelin team work closely with accredited dealers’ own staff to drive their business forward, making joint customer visits.
Michelin’s factory in Ballymena produced its first tyre on 3 December 1969 and plays a key role in Northern Ireland’s business landscape. Last year the Company celebrated the production of its 30 millionth tyre in Ballymena, which is the only commercial vehicle tyre manufacturing facility in Ireland.
Spread over 112 acres and employing more than 950 people from across Northern Ireland, it has an annual capacity of 1.4 million commercial vehicle tyres – sufficient to meet the replacement needs of every single truck, bus and coach in the UK.
From 1998 until 2011, the plant was controlled by Michelin’s North America truck tyre operation when around 80 per cent of the output was exported to North America. Since January 2012 the site has been transferred back to European control.
Ballymena continues to be a large exporter of commercial vehicle tyres across the globe, but has increased the volume made for the UK and ROI. It is currently the only Michelin factory in the world to manufacture the latest 295/80 R 22.5 X MultiWay 3D XZE (steer) and XDE (drive) tyres.
Michelin, the leading tyre company, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing and marketing tyres for every type of vehicle including aircraft, bicycles/motorcycles, cars, earthmovers, farm equipment and trucks. It also offers electronic mobility support services on ViaMichelin.com and publishes travel guides, hotel & restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in more than 170 countries, has more than 113,000 employees and operates 69 production plants in 18 different countries. The Group has a Technology Centre dedicated to research, development and process engineering, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia. (www.michelin.com)
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