In September Goodyear announced that would cut 700 jobs and sell up to 100 retail and fleet focused tyre outlets as it exits tyre distribution in Australia and New Zealand. By April 2024 it will close nine warehouse locations as well.
The winners are National Tyre & Wheel that will become the distributor for Dunlop tyres, and Tyremax who will the distributor for Goodyear tyres. The deal involves car, SUV, 4WD and truck tyres.
The potential losers are Fleet Managers and Fleet Management Organisations who rely on the Beaurepaires network of retail outlets to provide tyre replacement on a national basis with centralised billing.
It’s a decision that reverses the trend over the last two decades of global tyre manufacturers establishing warehouses and local sales offices to service fleet customers and local retail outlets including national franchisees such as JAX Tyre and Bob Jane T-Marts.
Goodyear reported to shareholders that the change in distribution will be revenue positive highlighting the significant costs (rents, staff and transport) when servicing smaller markets like Australia and New Zealand.
Both National Tyre & Wheel and Tyremax are independent distributors working on a ‘house of brands’ strategy that can service tyre retailers with multiple tyre brands in one delivery through a single ordering platform.
Last decade Hankook purchased the JAX Tyres business which included approximately 90 franchised stores. While Continental purchased the Kmart Tyre & Auto business of 200+ company owned stores and later rebranded them to mycar.
Both transactions replicated the Goodyear model, which operated 300+ company owned Beaurepaires stores, and appeared to be a good way to secure sales volume within a network of retailers. The announcement by Goodyear may create some more movements in the market as rising costs force tyre manufacturers to rethink the vertically integrated model.