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Expansion plan for Hi-Q chain

Goodyear Dunlop plans to “blow the lid off the fast-fit industry” by expanding its Hi-Q operation, mainly through franchised outlets.

At present, the manufacturer owns all but 22 of its 150 retail sites.

Peter Tye, Goodyear Dunlop franchise development manager, says: “Our aim is to revolutionize the industry and to become a challenging force within UK fast fit.

“We intend to grow our network to 250, and the planned split is 100 owned by us and the rest by franchise holders. We expect all our current franchisees to continue with us, and we’re going through a consultation exercise with them looking at the benefits.”

Businesses joining the network do not necessarily need fast-fit experience. Goodyear Dunlop is looking for relevant commercial skills and business acumen.

Tye expects recruits to the network to include franchised dealer groups looking for an expansion to their businesses. Others will already operate in the tyre trade or be people with the right skills coming into it.

“The priorities are companies that can provide clear communication with customers, open and honest pricing, modern and comfortable premises and better choice and value,” says Tye.

Open points extend across the UK but the manufacturer’s main focus is on north-west England and inside the M25. Tye says the required investment will vary according to the size of the outlet and its location, and whether premises need to be built.

“Rebranding costs will also vary but we’re looking at a lease scheme to reduce upfront costs,” says Tye. “Goodyear doesn’t intend to help financially but wants to work with our partners to develop a business plan.”

Goodyear Dunlop has questioned groups of retail customers, fleet managers and company car drivers as part of extensive research into how people view the fast-fit tyre business.

“This has shown people are dissatisfied with poor service, unwelcoming facilities and confusing jargon and pricing. We’re looking for franchisees that will join our revolution to blow the lid off the industry and offer certainty,” says Tye.

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