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Online tyre retailer launched in South Africa

Multinational online tyre retailer Blackcircles has launched its service in South Africa. Following a soft launch in December, the company kicked off full promotion in early January.


The company was originally founded in 2001 by UK entrepreneur Michael Welch. It was later acquired by tyre manufacturer Michelin in 2015. The online platform works in partnership with a network of more than 2 000 independent garages in the UK.


Since its formation, Blackcircles has expanded globally with its service franchised in Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Canada and now South Africa.


The Blackcircle website provides a technologically advanced platform for all local tyre manufacturers to bridge into the digital marketplace. The South African franchise will house an extensive selection of passenger car, sports-utility vehicle and 4 x 4 tyres, besides others.


“Blackcircles is here to change the way South Africans buy and fit tyres and to ensure that finding and fitting tyres becomes a completely stress-free process,” said Blackcircles GM Devlin Moodley in a statement on January 26.


To begin using the service, customers can log onto the Blackcircles website to search for their vehicle or wheel size. They can then choose their tyres and desired fitment centre.


Once payment is made through the Blackcircles secure gateway, the customer will visit the selected fitment centre to have their new tyres fitted.


Blackcircles claimed that 80% of South Africans live or work within a 15-minute drive of a participating tyre fitment centre owing to the company partnering with various dealerships across different networks in the country.


“Only fitment partners meeting Blackcircles’ requirements will be available through the website. However, Blackcircles has ambitions to grow the number of fitment partners in the country to ensure customers are only a short drive away from their nearest fitment centre,” Moodley told Engineering News.


There are currently more than 50 dealers located in all nine provinces. Moodley said that Blackcircles has specific fitment partners from various major retail networks, including Dunlop Zone, Dunlop Express, Tyremart, Hi-Q and Supa-Kwik.


South African tyre manufacturing company Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) has acquired the rights to launch Blackcircles in South Africa as an independently run subsidiary. SRSA manufactures its own brand of tyres, as well as tyre brands Dunlop and Falken, in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal.