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Editor Stephen Briers Tel 01733 468024 email News, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA. Published by Bauer AutomotiveSubscribe to FNe Click hereDownload FNe Click hereTell us what you think of FNe Click herefleet September 2011Has your fleet left it too late?Demand for cold weather tyres could outstrip supplyRemarketing: Low stock protectingthe used car market from further decline Fleet registrationsHow Korean upstarts are now taking aimat fleet's big guns Click here to find out moreClick here for the full story

News insightDemand for cold weather tyres may outstrip supplyBy Gareth RobertsTyre manufacturers and fast-fit centres are investing millions of pounds in cold weather tyres, with tempera­tures predicted to plummet again this winter.In anticipation of meeting a growing demand, ATS Euromaster has doubled its investment in the specialist tyres to £6 million, while Kwik-Fit Fleet has ordered four times more stock than last year. Peter Fairlie, group sales director of ATS Euromaster, said: "In 2010, the market didn't really take off until the first sign of snow. "However, by early September this year forward orders from fleets had already exceeded the stock we'd allocated for business customers. We've secured addi­tional supplies, but it's in high demand."It was a similar message from Kwik-Fit Fleet, which said that strong global demand last year meant supplies ran out. The company has ordered 200,000 tyres this year to meet anticipated orders from public and private sector fleets. However, it's advising them to place tyre orders now to ensure availability.Kwik-Fit Fleet sales director Peter Lambert said: "Meteorologists are already warning that the first harsh winter weather could arrive next month. "As a result, we are recommending that cold weather tyres should be fitted to vehicles from the end of September or in the first half of October and remain in place until the end of March."Dave Crinson, national sales manager car fleets UK and ROI, Michelin, said that "if we have a very harsh winter again, demand could easily outstrip supply". He added: "A lot of blue light fleets and home delivery services have taken on-board our message about pre-ordering cold weather tyres to guarantee availability, but plenty of others have not. Once more we expect demand will rise as soon as the first snow falls."The West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) are among those organisations which have already placed their order with ATS Euromaster. In total, 530 ambulances and 308 rapid response cars will be fitted with Michelin cold weather tyres during October and early November.Steve Farnsworth, EMAS fleet general manager, said: "They are not just a snow and ice tyre, the shorter stopping distance is also very noticeable in the slush and wet, plus handling on the dry track in cold weather was impressive too."A vehicle fitted with cold weather tyres which is travel­ling at 30mph on a snow-covered road, will come to a A Kwik-Fit tyre 'hotel' where standard tyres are stored when cold weather tyres are being used