Diesel In­dus­try News

Motor Equipment News - - CONTENTS -

There’s noth­ing worse than a punc­ture for ru­in­ing your day – or even your hol­i­day. Now, though, thou­sands of tourists – and Ki­wis – who rent camper­vans from Tourism Hold­ings Ltd (THL) sub­sidiaries will have the peace of mind that the so­lu­tion is just a phone call away – even in the more re­mote lo­ca­tions in New Zealand’s North and South Is­lands.

In the sig­nif­i­cant deal THL, which owns a num­ber of New Zealand cam­per van com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing the well-known Maui, Britz, and Mighty brands, will con­tract with Hankook im­porters Value Tyres Ltd (VTL) to sup­ply re­place­ment tyres for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Volk­swa­gen Crafter, Fiat Du­cato, Ford Tran­sit, and Toy­ota Hilux cam­per vans (plus new units from Re­nault which have just been added) as well as a num­ber of LDVs and chas­sis/cab units – as many as 2,100 ve­hi­cles in to­tal.

And to sup­port the deal, VTL has set up what it calls its VTL/ Hankook Ser­vice Part­ner Net­work across New Zealand, more than 140 in­de­pen­dently op­er­ated tyre shops con­tacted via just one 0800 num­ber, and grow­ing ev­ery week.

Chief among the tyres supplied will be the new Hankook Vantra RA18 com­mer­cial tyre, which is an OE fit­ment tyre for both Mercedes and Ford, and the tyre was a clear winner when tested by Pro­mo­bil, Europe’s largest mo­torhome mag­a­zine.

When the test re­sults were col­lated the Vantra RA18 scored highly in all cat­e­gories of driv­ing per­for­mance, in par­tic­u­lar wet weather han­dling and brak­ing.

Says Martin Croft, Fleet Op­er­a­tions Man­ager for THL: “Our cam­per vans end up trav­el­ling the length and breadth of the coun­try on roads with coarse chip and high cam­ber, and we want our cus­tomers to re­main safe and spend their hol­i­day en­joy­ing New Zealand.

“Another crit­i­cal fac­tor was choos­ing a tyre com­pany that could add value and ul­ti­mately lower the over­all cost of run­ning our fleet by hav­ing proven fleet man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence and ro­bust sys­tems.”

VTL was cho­sen after a ro­bust ten­der process in­volv­ing six tyre providers that saw some of the lead­ing con­tenders fall by the way­side. “The ten­der process wasn’t just cost based,” he added. “We looked at safety, han­dling, brak­ing, etc. We looked at how they were in the world rank­ings, as well as which OEMs were us­ing the prod­uct.

“We also looked at in­de­pen­dent re­search and did due dili­gence among other users of the prod­uct.”

For VTL busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager Ran­dolph Tucker, the deal rep­re­sents a dream to­wards build­ing an even wider net­work sup­ply­ing not just THL, but other ma­jor fleets.

“VTL is proud to have been cho­sen as a part­ner for THL,” he said. “Hav­ing the Hankook brand is a huge plus for us; Hankook is the sev­enth largest tyre brand in the world, and one of the big­gest spenders on R&D. The RA18 re­flects the ad­vances Hankook is mak­ing through its mas­sive R&D in­vest­ment.”

He added that VTL had now de­vel­oped a work­ing con­tract with St John Am­bu­lance to make use of the Ser­vice Part­ner Net­work to sup­ply tyres, and was look­ing at adding other fleets, such as those from large cor­po­rates, lease com­pa­nies, and Gov­ern­ment.

Each Ser­vice Part­ner Net­work mem­ber is ex­pected to carry stock of the tyres, and can be quickly re­plen­ished from VTL’s ware­houses in Auck­land, Hamil­ton, Tau­ranga, Napier, Welling­ton, Dunedin and In­ver­cargill, as well as at its head­quar­ters in Christchurch, with de­liv­ery pos­si­ble any­where in the coun­try in un­der 24 hours, and as lit­tle as two hours in some parts of New Zealand.

Ran­dolph said the deal was made pos­si­ble thanks to the close co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Hankook and VTL.

Set­ting up a Na­tional Ser­vice Part­ner Net­work was not without its chal­lenges, but re­ally showed its value after the earth­quakes in Kaik­oura.

“Bob, the VTL Ser­vice Part­ner in Kaik­oura, phoned to say his work­ers were look­ing for ways to help after the quake, and of­fered to se­cure cam­per vans scat­tered around the town, when they had been left by tourists who had em­barked on the res­cue ships.

“He asked if he could round them up and put them in a se­cure place and re­lo­cate them to Christchurch. That af­ter­noon THL Op­er­a­tions staff he­li­coptered in and ev­ery­one agreed that would be a good idea, so the team got stuck in, cleaned up the vans – even emp­ty­ing out the toi­let tanks – and locked them away un­til they can be taken back to the THL de­pots.”

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