AM Online

New MD needed for Farmer

David Goodyear, the former AA Tyre Fit general manager and Kwik-Fit regional director, has quit Farmer Autocare after less than nine months as the company’s managing director.

He had been brought in by Kwik-Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer at the end of last year to oversee the growth of his Edinburgh-based fast-fit service centre network.

AM has been unable to contact Goodyear, but Farmer Autocare insists there is “nothing sinister” in his departure and that expansion of the chain under the Tyres ’n’ Wheels @ Farmer Autocare banner is going to plan.

Tony Lochery, a long time business associate of Farmer, is leading a small management team at the headquarters while a new MD is being sought.

He says Goodyear’s decision to leave had come as a big disappointment to colleagues, but adds: “David is a tremendous guy and he and Sir Tom have known each other for years, but when someone moves up from the south to live in Scotland it doesn’t always work out.

“There’s no name in the frame for his replacement yet, but he will be replaced.”

Launched in 2003, Farmer Autocare has six owned and five franchised Tyres ’n’ Wheels @ Farmer Autocare outlets in Scotland, most offering tyres, wheels, exhausts and batteries, and some adding MoTs and servicing. The majority are located in and around Edinburgh.

New centres are to open in Paisley and Falkirk within the next two months, taking the chain to 13 sites. Both are co-owned under the Farmer Autocare model, which invites entrepreneurs to invest up to £45,000 in return for a start-up contribution of the balance of up to £100,000, plus equipment, stock marketing and training from head office.

Sir Tom is not involved in day-to-day operations, having stated in December last year that he wanted to take a back seat from Farmer Autocare.

Lochery confirms that ‘phase one’ of network growth will continue in Scotland and, like Goodyear on his appointment in 2004, does not rule out stepping south of the border.

“Scotland’s where the focus will be for the immediate future, and there’ll be no more owned outlets ­– they will all be co-owned Tyres ’n’ Wheels,” Lochery says.

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