Goodyear Dunlop Aims to Close the Gap with Michelin in France - Tire Review Magazine

Goodyear Dunlop Aims to Close the Gap with Michelin in France

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Since Goodyear Dunlop Tire France was founded in January 2004, the group has increased its marketshare four percentage points to 23% of the 32 million-unit strong French passenger car tyre replacement market.

The company’s next goal is to close the competitive gap between itself and domestic market dominator – Michelin.

On a global level, the size of the three leading players (Bridgestone, Goodyear Dunlop and Michelin) is relatively comparable. In France, it is a completely different story. According to French Automotive information source autoactu.com, Michelin holds a 45% marketshare of car, 4×4 and van tyre sales in France, while Goodyear Dunlop’s 23% puts it in second place.

With this in mind, Goodyear Dunlop France’s marketing director, Pierre Santoul, told autoactu.com that his company aims to renew its whole range between 2005 and 2007. As a result, the Eagle F1 and the SP Fast response will reportedly exit the French market in 2007.

Apart from the general target of closing the gap with Michelin, Goodyear Dunlop France’s executives also have some more specific marketshare goals. After gaining four percentage points of marketshare in the last three years, the company is now seeking to gain an additional point each year, and the company’s retail strategy will figure greatly in achieving this.

On June 1, Goodyear Dunlop officially replaced Continental as number one supplier to the Speedy retail network (the French arm of Kwik-Fit). The French retail market is dominated by the Norauto group (brands: Norauto, Midas and Maxauto), controlling just over 15% of the market. Renault and Feu Vert come next with around 15% each, while Michelin’s Euromaster equity resides in fourth place. Perhaps that is why Goodyear Dunlop France has decided to revive the Vulvo retail brand. According to autoactu.com, the Vulco ensign flew for just a few chaotic years before Goodyear Dunlop decided to sell the centres and clean up the network that Dunlop created.

Therefore, the company’s strategy is not dissimilar to what is currently being operated in the U.K. At the moment, there are 265 outlets, compared with the 300 there were in previous years. Members are now partners with the Goodyear Dunlop group, and outlets are 84% manufacturer owned. With this strategy in place, the company now aims to add another 85 points of sale, making 350 in total.

In total, the Vulco group (in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and soon Eastern European countries) and its affiliated brands account for 3,000 points of sale. The kind of coverage allows for the creation of a single pan-European network a la Michelin and Euromaster. And, even if Goodyear Dunlop France does not adopt the single-brand approach, it will still have the kind of large network in place that is necessary to service large customer accounts.

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