Technology’s effect on retail among topics at Future Tire Conference
LONDON — As the technology driving the tire and automotive industries continues to change, its effects on retail tire businesses continue to multiply.
Guido Hüffer, general manager retail operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) at Goodyear Dunlop Handelssysteme, will address these changes when he gives a presentation on the service workshop of the future during the Future Tire Conference 2018.
Hosted by European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Tire Business, Future Tire Conference explores the changing technologies that are impacting the tire industry. Future Tire runs in May 30-31 and will be held in conjunction with the Tire Cologne international trade fair in Cologne, Germany.
Additional information about Future Tire is available at tyre-conferences/futuretire2018.
Q: Please identify one significant development in the tire industry in the last two to three years and explain its importance.
Mr. Hüffer: The most important drivers of tire retail business were and still are the increasing complexity of car technology and further digitalization. The digitalization leads to a changing consumer behavior and to changing consumer needs, which need to be addressed by tire retailers with new products, services and new ways of communication to be successful. Furthermore tire dealers are confronted with increasing complexity in car technologies, which drives the necessity in investing heavily new tools/technologies and also qualification of dealer staff.
What do you see as main obstacles to the development of the tire manufacturing industry in the coming years?
The main challenge for tire dealers in the future will be the recruiting of new employees who have the right qualification for the advanced tire retail business. Furthermore, tire dealers need to invest heavily in new technologies and IT tools. Both factors will be challenging for the tire dealers.
Which technologies will play the biggest role in shaping the “tire factory of the future?” Why?
All technologies that will help to understand and predict the consumer needs successfully will play major roles in the future for tire dealers. Many market players already (are) building new ways how to interact with consumers based on predicted consumer needs. The tire dealer of the future will be the proactive service provider for different customer groups like private consumers, fleet drivers and fleet organizations. The new communication between dealers and consumers will be more individual, based on specific customer needs and will be just in time.
What major changes do you expect to see in tire manufacture and supply over the next few years?
The trend of further market concentration will continue. Especially, vertical distribution channels will continue to win in the market.