The brand will focus on tyres for consumer and light commercial vehicles, while truck tyre sales will be handled by the Truck Force brand. To mark the change, Hi-Q began rolling out a new corporate identity last year across its 102 branches and 33 franchisees, starting with the rebranding and refurbishment of its flagship centre in Nottingham.
It has since refurbished 30 branches, and has seven new stores due to open by the end of the first quarter 2008.
The company also relaunched its website, introducing a facility which allows customers to book a tyre fitting at their local branch and order tyres in advance. This means it now offers an all-in-one sales and fitting service online. Though this accounts for less than 5% of sales, the company said it was growing in popularity.
A web-based booking system for MoT and servicing will follow shortly. Hi-Q managing director Neil Burrows said: “Fast-fit has stood still in terms of customer service, but franchised dealers have raised their game. We need to follow suit and raise standards all round. The sector is ripe to kick into another gear, and we want to be at the front.”
To further raise awareness of its new brand identity, Hi-Q has also agreed a sponsorship deal with the British Touring Car Championship.
A series of motorsport-themed open evenings, featuring drivers and cars from the championship, are planned for its largest branches. These are scheduled to start at the end of spring.
Burrows said the deal also presented wider possibilities, including free tyre checks in the car park at all BTCC events and using tickets as an incentive for customers and sales staff.
“The timing is perfect and it’s a good way to get our name out there,” he said.