Jack Dreyer | Tuesday 28th June 2022 9:15am
This year (2022) Kwik Fit Fleet celebrates its 35th birthday. From humble beginnings in St Albans, Verulam Road to Tannochside and Letchworth, Kwik Fit’s Fleet department has supported fleets large and small across the UK, helping keep their customers and drivers safe on the road for over 35 years.
A message from Fleet Director, Dan Joyce.
"As we take stock on reaching this milestone, we not only reflect on the 35 years that have passed but also take a look at the road ahead. First and foremost, we would like to thank our customers for their support and continued business across many years – both through the many challenges the sector has faced, as well as lots of good times. Collaboration with our customers has been vital in influencing our progress and has allowed us to develop and mould our model to suit the needs of an industry at the forefront of technology and innovation.
"From my position, it would be simple to talk about fitting more than 20 million tyres to fleet vehicles or highlighting the one million MOTs and millions of brakes and service inspections that we have completed over the past 35 years. However, being “big” and having a large network and a loyal customer base is only one part of our story.
"We believe that there have been two key factors that have supported our ascension to fast fit market leaders within the fleet sector.
"Firstly, our commitment to continual customer focussed innovation and a desire to lead the aftermarket in the fleet space in all that we do. The launch of Kwik Fit Mobile, Tyre Management, Fleet Authorisation System, Mobile-7, Fleet Web Bookings and recently MOT Management and EV technical training across our network of centres are examples of this. This innovation has been fundamental to our business model and will remain as such in a future landscape that is as exciting and fast moving as it is uncertain.
"Of equal importance is getting the basics right and ensuring we are delivering our service at a consistently high standard. In recent years we have seen customer service metrics across both the centre network and Mobile reach record high levels and the only way is up. . The simply amazing resilience of our teams on the front line and the strategic decision-making from senior management have allowed us to navigate the most turbulent of years across the pandemic period. This continuity of service delivery would not have been possible without our people and our ability to respond across all areas of our business. As was the case when Kwik Fit first launched Fleet in 1987, our people and our customers are at the heart of all that we do.
"Here's to another 35 years of working in partnership with our customers to keep their Fleets safe on the road and providing peace of mind motoring to all."
Highlights of 1987
- Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- World population reached 5 billion people
- Film - Fatal Attraction - Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, & Anne Archer
- Film - Good Morning, Vietnam - Starring: Robin Williams
- Film - Full Metal Jacket - Starring: Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin,
- Pat Cash defeats Ivan Lendl to win Men’s Singles & Martina Navratilova defeats Steffi Graf to win Lady’s Singles at Wimbledon.
- Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" is released
- The Channel Tunnel construction is started.
- The Microsoft Windows 2.0 operating system is introduced.
- The top 3 selling cars for the first six months of 1987
- Ford Escort (88,962)
- Ford Fiesta (77,400)
- Ford Sierra (67,771)
- 155/80T13 is the most popular tyre
- Kwik Fit Fleet launches
Ian Forster, International Key Account Manager, Continental Tyre Group LTD
“Continental have a long history of being associated with fleet businesses in the UK, many of whom use Kwik Fit Fleet to manage and look after their tyre needs. We have been successful in providing Kwik Fit and the fleet businesses with market leading support in areas like supply chain, marketing and technical support. With vehicles and mobility changing at a rapid pace, Continental are at the forefront of new technology within the automotive world and are working with Kwik Fit fleet to ensure they and their fleet customers are future ready.”
Simon Winstanley, Strategic Key Account Manager, Michelin Tyre PLC
"With strong working relationships with and understanding of their customers, Kwik-Fit Fleet continue to be the pioneers for tyre management and service provision in the UK Fleet Market. Their highly professional and efficient key account & operational teams ensure all customer related requests are dealt with quickly & accurately. Communication to customers is exceptional – this was especially true during the recent pandemic. It continues to be a pleasure to work with Kwik-Fit Fleet."
Derek Leadbeater - here from the very beginning
As part of our reflection, we discussed life in Fleet with one of the team who was here on day one in 1987, Derek Leadbeater – National Account Manager (retired):
"Kwik Fit achieved massive expansion following the purchase of Firestone centres in 1980 which gave us a national presence. Centres had begun to trade individually with local companies, and a decision was made by Tom Farmer to turn this into a companywide solution for businesses - Fleet was formed in 1987 with Ron Bambra heading up the department as Fleet Director.
"For me what set us apart was simple, we called it World Class Service! This would be three-fold – offer the best-in-the-industry service to customers with a good support network from the wider business and clean, well-stocked centres that are open seven days a week."
Andy Williams, Operational Services Business Development Manager - Alphabet (GB) Ltd
"Huge congratulations to the Kwik Fit team from everyone here at Alphabet on your 35th anniversary!
“Kwik Fit’s 35th anniversary happens to coincide with Alphabet’s 25th and it is testament to team at Kwik Fit that the partnership between our two businesses has been in place for quarter of a century.
"Kwik Fit’s service has continuously evolved during this time to consistently deliver the high standards our customers expect. Kwik Fit’s mobile fitting has always been a popular choice for Alphabet customers and the ongoing collaborative development of this offering, including the more recent Mobile7 service, is a great example of this continuous improvement.
"The partnership we enjoy with Kwik Fit is much more than tyres however! As well as the excellent nationwide coverage for tyre replacement, we have worked hard together to grow and develop the service, MOT, and repair network, providing Alphabet customers with further flexibility and choice. Big steps forward have also been taken to improve the digital experience for our customers, including real-time access to appointment booking online.
"The level of service we have today has only been possible with the fantastic account management and senior team engagement we have received over the course of our 25 year partnership. As electric vehicle adoption accelerates and the industry faces new challenges in the months and years to come, I’m sure we will continue to look to the Kwik Fit team for their expertise. Thank you again for the help and support!"
David Cooper, Managing Director - Arnold Clark Finance
"Over the years Kwik Fit have developed into a trusted partner for Arnold Clark Vehicle Management, we rely on their customer service and tyre expertise to keep our fleet customers vehicles on the road where we do not have our own service centres, and we look forward to many more years of working closely together."
Jim Hannah, Operations Director - Ogilvie Fleet
“The continued support from Kwik Fit Fleet which has adapted to support our current priorities has seen our working relationship grow from strength to strength with the services provided now vitally important in the daily operations of Ogilvie Fleet. Keeping our customers’ vehicles on the road is one of our key values which is fully understood by Kwik Fit Fleet, allowing us to deliver a level of service that meets this value. The services and support offered evolve to meet the current climate we live in and in particular were essential during the Covid-19 pandemic where Kwik Fit worked with us to ensure that our key working vehicles were kept on the road.”
Andrew Gullery, Head of Direct Procurement - Zenith
"Zenith in our various iterations have enjoyed a close working relationship with Kwik-Fit fleet since their inception, some 35 years ago. We have always been close over that time and have enjoyed engagement through all levels within both businesses. Together we have seen the Tyre industry turn on its head from the supply of radial tyres through to today’s homologated EV and energy efficient Tyres. Kwik-Fit have always supported us and our customers incredibly well through this evolvement and we look forward to continuing this relationship we as move into the next phase of Fleet, namely electrification and all that brings.
"Thanks to all from Kwik-Fit, we appreciate the hard work that’s done at branches as well as the support offered from Head Office, congratulations on your 35 years in Fleet from everyone at Zenith!"
The road ahead:
Interview with Toby Poston, Director of Corporate Affairs - BVRLA
How do you see the future of leasing?
"Putting aside the current supply issues, I think the future has never looked brighter really, in terms of the way forward.
"Leasing is going to change quite a lot in future years based on a combination of factors, mainly regulatory pressures or changing demand. The rise of digitisation, in the form of connecting better with customers through web portal, via. A.I or chat bots make it easier and more effective for lease customers to manage customer relationships, it also makes it easier for OEMs and supplier to have better direct relationships with drivers.
"We will also see leasing companies enter new areas such as second life leasing. We're already seeing a lot of leasing companies dipping their toes into that and I think that's just going to grow.
"Ultimately leasing will become more flexible in terms of contract lengths and mileages and the financial arrangements around them. Current incentives around electric vehicles make switching to electric a no-brainer for company car and salary sacrifice drivers."
In recent years Fleet has witnessed the mass-adoption of electric vehicles, will this continue?
"As mentioned, clearly making a choice when it comes to switching to an EV if you are a company car or salary sacrifice driver takes no more than five minutes today. This is clearly driven by incentive-based schemes, our view is that this will end and the more longer-term focus will be based upon Total Cost of Ownership.
"Mass-adoption is nowhere near as prolific outside of company cars and salary sacrifice and the government will need to address this in addition to solving the charging infrastructure challenge. Where to charge, the speed of the charge and how much the charge costs are only a few of the factors to consider in solving wider adoption."
What other potential changes in legislation could influence the future of Fleet?
"The adoption of EVs and the changing nature of usage and mileages mean that the government will have to find ways to fill the growing deficit in HMRC revenue caused by reduced fuel duty, vehicle excise duty and reduced benefit in kind tax.
"We are working with the government to provide insight on potential future methods. There is no one-size-fits all model for this, we think there should be an agnostic approach using technology such as a very simple scheme for road pricing based on changes for mileage travelled per-year. This would be a sensible start point but government will need to act quickly as these things take time to adopt."
Planning for the road ahead:
Our experience has taught us that we must continue to evolve our products and services to keep up with the ever-changing requirements of our customers and vehicle technology.
Kwik Fit has embarked on a serious push in technician training and general awareness for electric and hybrid vehicles. From completing service and repairs to ensuring that we have the right tyres in the right place at the right time, our aim is to lead the aftermarket into an era of mass EV adoption.
Our wider portfolio of products now includes a subscription solution for tyres, Kwik Fit Club. This offer will broaden in scope and include a B2B offer in the near future. It’s a unique solution which puts at the forefront of new buying trends as we enter an era of usership over ownership. We have recently embarked on our first tranche of ADAS calibration centres, allowing us to keep up with technology enhancements on the road to vehicle autonomy.
Digitisation of our services is a key strategy for us and the forthcoming enhancements to our Fleet Web Booking solution will deliver a seamless platform for centre and mobile booking for tyres and SMR. This takes us to a place in which we feel we can offer industry leading levels of on-demand drive-in and pre-booked solutions for Fleet drivers.
We are very excited about the road ahead and we are delighted for you to join us on our journey for the next 35 years and beyond.
If you'd like to know more about working with Kwik Fit Fleet – the number one fast-fit service provider for maintaining your company vehicles. Please get in touch:
Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.
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