Richard Robinson, COO at REALtime Communications, a digitalisation specialist, said: “From a safety, let alone profit perspective, it cannot be right that the vast majority of people are leaving franchised dealers with tyres identified as illegal through an electronic vehicle health check.“
The problem identified reflects an analysis of the business’s EVHC technology used across the industry. The average identified ‘red’ tyre work (an illegal tyre or tyres) conversions are:
- Premium brands – 27.71%
- Volume brands – 36.59%
For ‘amber’ work that indicates while legal tyres will need to be changed imminently, the numbers are similarly concerning:
- Premium brands 4.12%
- Volume brands 4.26%
The one mitigation for amber work is that these numbers will likely improve when dealers follow up with such customers. Nevertheless, the shortcomings in redwork suggest that the impact is likely to be modest.
Whether it is the accelerating growth of EVs with their reduced aftersales requirements, except tyres which wear faster typically due to the increased weight of an EV, or the future surrounding the proposed extension of first-time MOTs from three to four years, Robinson notes that there is a glaring disconnect between what should be happening when a tyre safety issue is identified and what is happening:
“Given that the numbers we are publishing are averages and we know that where best practices are adopted, performance improves significantly, some serious work needs to be undertaken in many aftersales teams. As a former aftersales manager, I suspect that the issue lies in failing to address customer tyre cost perceptions of a franchised dealer versus a fast-fit, but perhaps even more so in the productivity metrics/rewards used internally.
“The profit per hour from tyres has often been lower than service/repair income. However, as the industry faces rapidly falling servicing work, dealers need to re-think historic metrics or appoint dedicated tyre specialists because much of the £98m of red tyre work identified was never converted. Metrics apart, under a duty of care, work needs to be undertaken to bridge the performance gap.”