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City Tyres see higher tyre sales

Pirelli tyres sales to grow 20% in the next six months

City Tyres, a subsidiary of Mandela Group of Companies in Uganda, expects a 20% growth in sales for Pirelli tyres in the next six months on the back of the ongoing new Formula One (F1) campaign.

Mandela Group of Companies trading relationship with Pirelli started 19 years ago.

The City Tyres Marketing Manager, Herbert Bashasha told The Independent on the sidelines of the new campaign launch in Kampala on May 13 that they expect higher Pirelli car tyre sales in the coming months compared with last year.

“Last year we recorded a 10% increase in sales for these tyres because of this promotion and we expect more this year,” Bashasha said, adding that the previous campaign boosted the company’s image, making Pirelli and City Tyres more visible.

And just like last year, eight customers who will have bought four Pirelli Tyres between May 01 and Oct 31, will stand a chance to win a trip to attend the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of the year.

City Tyres Managing Director, Ahmed Abdullahi, said they are promoting the Pirelli tyre brand because its components gives it  agility, flexibility and grip while on the road.

“Pirelli is among the top five brands in the world,” Abdullahi said.  Pirelli has been sponsoring sport competitions since 1907 and is the exclusive tyre supplier for the F1 Championship for 2011–2019 and for the FM World Superbike championship.

F1 tyres are built to last less than one race distance – of about two hours – compared to a normal tyre road whose useful life go up to 80, 000km.

The challenge, however, is that Pirelli tyres are slightly expensive compared with other tyre brands.

“But I can say that they are good,” one regular user of the Pirelli tyres told The Independent in an interview. “I bought four Pirelli tyres – size 14 – for a Spacio car type at Shs 1.2 million, drove for two years and sold them when they were still in a good state.”

There are some tyre brands on the Ugandan market that cost much less, Shs 150, 000 each or Shs 600, 000 for four tyres.

But Bashasha defended Pirelli’s pricing saying it resonates with the quality of the tyre.

“Any good thing has a price,” he said, “This is a premium brand…we have tried to offer it at a competitive but affordable price.”

Bashasha said the company has also started to import Pirelli rally tyres, with the first consignment set to arrive next month.

“We will offer them at good price because we want to promote the F1 game in Uganda,” he said.

The Italian ambassador to Uganda, Domenico Fornara, described the relationship between Mandela Group and Pirelli as excellent.

“This is a company that is extremely social beyond selling their products,” Fornara said, adding that they are very much engaged in social projects aimed at improving the lives of the people.

According to the F1 Magazine published by a local daily, it costs US$250 million (Shs 896.3billion) to host a F1 Grand Prix for a 10 year period.  The game generates between US$1.5 billion (Shs 5.4trillion) and $2bn (Shs 7.2trillion) a year in revenue which is distributed among 10 F1 teams.

At the same time, teams spend between US$100 million (Shs 358.5billion) and US$500 million (Shs 1.8trillion) a season on elite motor engineers, research and development and on driver salaries.

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