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NTDA winter tyre campaign aims to grow UK market

The National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) has invited representatives from the UK tyre industry to a special meeting in January next year, to explore the possibilities of developing a significant domestic market for winter tyres.

  In Holland the industry has been successful in expanding the market for winter tyres by nine fold in four years, achieved by embarking on a positive campaign. The NTDA feels that a similar exercise in the UK could establish a new market of over 2.5 million units.

  The association is to discuss ideas for a UK campaign with its retail members at a special seminar held next January, during The Aftermarket Show at the NEC.

  “Winter tyres have always been regarded as a niche market in the UK, unlike other northern European countries where the market is firmly established, despite the weather not being that different from the UK," says NTDA director Richard Edy.

  In Holland, a campaign based on a slogan “If there’s an R in the month change to winter tyres” has been successful in changing motorists’ perceptions of winter tyres to such an extent that sales have risen from around 50,000 units in 1997 to the current high of almost 500,000.

  “Holland has a very similar climate to the UK so there is every reason to believe that the UK motorist will be receptive to the same kind of messages that have worked so outstandingly over the past six or seven years,” says Edy.

  Technical and marketing experts from Dutch tyre maker Vredestein and major German brand Continental will talk at the seminar, together with representatives from VACO, the Dutch Association, and the NTDA.

  The seminar will take place on Thursday,January 13, 2005 at The Aftermarket Show, where Vredestein and Continental will display their new generation winter tyres – the NTDA will also be exhibiting.

  “In a highly competitive and mature market like the UK the prospect of increasing the overall market size by over two million units is an opportunity that cannot be ignored. Response to the seminar has already exceeded expectations so we know the trade is interested in finding out how the concept can be turned into reality,” adds Edy.

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