That target would edge AA Tyre Fit ahead of rivals Kwik-Fit and ATS, which have 158 and 154 mobile units respectively and, as managing director David Goodyear puts it: “This gives us the credibility to talk to the major fleets when the tender process for new contracts starts in October this year.”
Goodyear expects AA Tyre Fit to be running 500 mobiles by 2007 round the clock. These will be directed from a national call centre in Coventry which is now trialling a £3m job handling software package due to go live in September. Also being assessed is a stocking hub programme operated in partnership with TNT. The service is to include a retail warranty package covering the cost of puncture repairs and replacement tyres in the event of accidental or malicious damage.
Before September a major marketing campaign is to be rolled out to promote the benefits of mobile tyre fitting. This will cover poster sites, public transport, Yellow Pages, the AA member magazine and specialist consumer titles – predominantly women's publications. “The time is right for the move to all-mobile,” he says. “We believe the mobile tyre market is a major growth opportunity and we aim to be the leader in this sector within a short space of time.
“Our view is simple. The traditional fast-fit centre is a thing of the past and tyre networks that still maintain them do not have the right structure to survive in the future. We offer the flexibility, pricing and service that tyre customers now expect.”