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Stunner goes for growth

Group Tyre (UK) is set to push for growth next year with its exclusive Stunner tyre brand by seeking additional business with franchised dealer workshops and small independent tyre fitters.

Karl Naylor, Group Tyre’s sales manager for national accounts, explains: “We currently sell around 300,000 units a year, which gives us a market share of almost 1%. We’ve got to look at investing and building on that, but our first task is deciding where to position the brand.”

The Cheshire-based business, which has around 30 member wholesalers across the UK, recently undertook market research which shows retailers and consumers both regard the Italian-made Stunner as a quality product.

As a result, says Naylor, it is likely that the Stunner will be marketed as a medium range tyre suitable for the second fit cycle, replacing premium brands fitted as OE.

Naylor acknowledges that the Stunner’s name and relatively unknown brand values could be obstacles. Nevertheless, he claims it will attract retailers by providing a good profit margin and strong marketing prospects, because as a European product it will not suffer from the reputation of some Asian budget brands.

“Future plans for the brand will concentrate on communicating the quality of Stunner products – where performance is easily in the same zone as the leading European brands.

Our retailer are the most important part of the brand’s success, only if they have full confidence in the brand’s quality will they recommend it to consumers,” says Naylor.

Services the group can offer retailers include same day delivery, training and support, stock management and IT support for online ordering. In addition, its virtual tyre warehouse allowed retailer to check immediately whether a particular product is available and when it can be delivered.

A marketing campaign has already begun at its existing retailers, by providing purchasers of Stunner tyres with a scratchcard which gives them the chance to win a Ferrari driving experience.

In an earlier retailer survey, participants who completed a questionnaire were entered into a draw for a weekend in Italy. Naylor believes merchandising and competitions will be more cost effective than promoting the tyres through motorsport, however he says he is exploring every opportunity at present.

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