A network for alloy wheels
Alcoa Wheel Store
Alcoa Wheel Store is the brand that brings together all the manufacturer’s retail stores. Safety and training are paramount for the new network, which aims at establishing a constructive dialogue with road hauliers
Following the example of many tire manufacturers, now also an alloy wheel producer launches its very own network. Alcoa Wheel Store aims at becoming a service and information points for industrial alloy wheel buyers, ranging from owner-drivers to large transport fleets. The project started with 92 stores in Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain, countries that have a rather fragmented transport industry with a prevalence of small/medium enterprises that buy wheels from tire retailers and not directly from the official distributors as is the case with larger fleets. Very likely the project will be further expanded to other nations with a similar industrial framework. In Italy, the network consists of 32 retail points, one or two per region to ensure the widest possible presence, entrusted respectively to Roberto Corridoni, Italy Sales Manager and Andrea Borsari, Fleet Manager Italia. The initiative stems from a spin-off, dating back to November 2016, of Alcoa’s light alloy wheel manufacturing business; The division maintains the Alcoa Wheels brand but it is actually part of a new firm, Arconic.
A widespread and dedicated network
All Alcoa Wheel Stores are heavy goods and passenger tire dealers, selected among the most qualified specialists on the market and located so as to ensure a widespread presence throughout the country. No significant growth is expected in the next few years: at the most two or three new centres will be opened to cover those areas with some logistic difficulties. The stores offer original Alcoa Wheels products and accessories, from a complete range of rims, nuts, nut covers, cleaning agents like Alcoa Dura Bright Wheel Wash and wearable parts such as valves. These are service centres specialized in dealing with any problem related to wheels, with a strong mission towards technical information aimed at both consolidated and potential customers, wishing to enhance economic convenience and safety. Personnel training is a central point of the network’s policy, and concerns both Alcoa Wheel Store staff and any tire specialist working for corporate customers. The goal of all Alcoa Wheel Stores, explains Corridoni, is to become any fleet manager’s sole reference point, whether small or large, for anything that concerns alloy wheels, from the choice of a specific model to original accessories. Direct fleet Store contact aims to, not only consolidate the business, but also to provide transport companies with opportunities for economic growth and greater safety. The latter stands out as the most important message that the network wishes to spread to all customers, who will be informed about the benefits of using Alcoa wheels, the value of preventive maintenance, required to guarantee safety and efficiency as well as periodic checks. At every tire replacement performed in an Alcoa Wheel Store, the axle condition is also checked and the rims are tested (to see if any fracture in the aluminium alloy is found and replace rusted nuts), cleaned and old valves replaced with new ones. The wheel is thus able to work, once again, in the best possible conditions.
Training comes first
Besides technical and commercial staff training performed directly by Borsari and Corridoni, the official Italian Rigeneral distributor cooperates also with Arconic’s marketing department to provide Stores with the necessary marketing tools as well as a standard image project for all the stores. Activities also includes periodic visits to local transport fleets, carried out by Arconic staff along with Retail Store personnel. The Parent company supports the stores in participating at trade shows, local gatherings and events: "Only through a real presence on the territory", explains Corridoni, "we can provide correct information, unmasking myths and legends showing the real benefits of light alloy wheels, which is much more than just an aesthetic issue as many still believe. We will also explain the effects of our products on new regulations". Arconic directs all transporters’ needs to Alcoa Wheel Stores creating a strong and lasting relationship between the manufacturer, the retailer and the customer. In a very short time, the Alcoa Wheel Store website will be available, with a section for the general public and one reserved for network members.
A new wheel and new finishes
LvLOneed is undergoing approval as OEM for all seven manufacturers. The first to include it in its own price list will most likely be Iveco; Others will soon follow. It’s the new finish, which replaces the satin base version throughout the whole range. A new rim will also be available from Autumn, and for the first time in Alcoa’s history, it will be made with a new aluminium alloy, Ultra ONE. Initially it will be available in sizes 8.25x25 and 9.00x22.5, with a special focus on the bus market. Compared to the equivalent version now on the market, each wheel is 7% lighter and offers greater sturdiness (+ 16-17%) thanks to the new MagnaForce® aerospace alloy already introduced on the US market