DISTRIBUTION ON ALL ROADS
With 35 years’ experience behind it, the Piedmont wholesaler is the exclusive supplier of important premium brands, including America’s Cooper Tires, the winner of many of the most important competitions in the off-road world
GROWING EVOLUTION in step with the market took Piedmont company Overgom from being a regional tyre wholesaler for local retailers to increasingly significant proportions. Set up in 1977 to support tyre specialists in the northwest of Italy, Overgom management has been able to interpret the evolution of a lively market that over the years has become increasingly crowded with new players, users and services. Today, Overgom is among the leading firms selling tyres ranging from well-established to emerging brands through a widespread network of nine distribution centres that serve the whole of Italy as well as European and other world markets. From its headquarters in Turin, which is strategically connected to the base in Europe, a tried and tested structure of 150 employees and a commercial network with over 70 agents currently cover over 7,000 retailers.
The strategy for meeting changing global demands involves having a wide offer of transversal products in the automotive area – from the smallest 12 inch models to tyres for high performance cars – and in other sectors where mobility is strictly connected to tyres, like those for motorcycles and scooters, industrial vehicles, buses, earthmovers and agricultural vehicles. This is done by having the national exclusive for major brands as well as second and third level products that make up an interesting portfolio.
The advanced commercial strategies of Overgom (www.overgom.com) include the most evolved tools, primarily an innovative B2B website for supporting customers who can keep up-to-date about original equipment systems, check availability 24 hours a day, plays orders online, check delivery status and access the numerous accessory services, including price lists and various aspects of administration. Company loyalty is also created through the new myGOM affiliation network and the promotion and direct management of all the main franchising programs available in Italy, such as FSC Network-Starclub, PneusExpert, Hankook Masters, Area Bridgestone, Pirelli R6, Lassa Point, GD Dealer and Marshal Platinum Club, which now have about 600 affiliates.
The considerable storage capacity, with about 500,000 tyres always available, and a total of 20,000 product codes, means that they can be delivered quickly through the real-time planning of requests that reduce waiting times. The main warehouse located at Santena, near Turin, and another eight throughout Italy, including Sardinia, compete to expand immediate availability of the widest possible range and offer very fast deliveries and high standards of quality all over the country. This ensures that customers have fast access to stocks and can rationalize their own stocks thanks to an extensive distribution system that is one of the most satisfactory characteristics for end users.
A very wide range
Coping with a stagnant market that is weary of the crisis in the automobile sector is the primary aspect of a strategy based on the present, but with farsighted expectations. In marketing this means paying meticulous attention to potential pockets of customers that, until today, have only been on the verge of big numbers. Given the growing spread of the sport utility sector which joins the traditional, albeit limited, presence of genuine off-road vehicles used on rough ground not only for entertainment but also professionally in amateur and competitive sports, in 2011 Overgom signed a strategic partnership with Cooper Tires, the famous US brand that was set up in Ohio in 1914 and which is actively engaged in the 4x4 sector with highly specialized products in addition to its road range.
In support of a car range that is becoming increasingly widespread throughout Europe, thanks to the significant presence of a manufacturing centre in Great Britain, a leading-edge research and development laboratory and, recently, the opening of a second factory in Serbia, Cooper is setting its sights on the car market while maintaining its considerable credibility in the sport utility segment. With the accent on specialization offered by an established range dedicated to tough and pure off-roaders and special testimonial Spanish driver Xavier Foj, multi-times champion in the T2 class at the most recent Dakar who is also behind the development of the more aggressive models in Cooper’s 4x4 range. Cooper has always invested in competitions (famous drivers like Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet and many more have led to the success of Cooper tyres also in international GPs) as a test bench for the most advanced technologies.
With the focus on 4x4s, there is a total of eleven products specifically for SUVs and off-roads in the rich Cooper catalogue, starting from the Zeon range mainly for surfaced roads. The XST-a version opens the list with a high-performance road model featuring directional grooves, ideal for driving mainly on surfaced roads, for precision and handling at high speeds. It comes in a wide array of sizes from 215/70 R16 to 255/60 R18. It is joined by the 4XS version for UHP sport utilities, like Touareg, BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Mercedes ML, in sizes from 235/60 R 18 to 275/45 R20. Lastly, the most specialized Zeon LTZ, with a balanced pattern for mixed on-off use, that targets the big American SUVs and tuning, with exceptional sizes from 285/60 R18 to the ginormous 305/35 R24.
With aggressive blocks that perform well on mixed ground, the Discoverer range has eight variants for as many levels of on-off use. The most interesting include the ATR version with its evolved tread pattern and large variety of sizes - 15 in all from 15 to 18 inches. Forceful entry in the off-road dimension comes with the A/T3 with its robust structure and tread grooves that continue all the way to the side of the casing for maximum grip on loose ground. Twenty-seven references mean the widest applications, from 225/70 R15 to 275/55 R20, and also in inches, 30x9.50 and 31x10.50 R15. Even greater performance is delivered by the Discoverer S/T, the Cooper model that can take studs, comes in four classic sizes of 15 and 16 inches, it is suitable for snow, ice and soft ground, with secure grip ensured by its powerful self-cleaning properties. The super-specialized STT and S/T Maxx (the latter is the outcome of Xavier Foj’s personal know-how and is used on competition terrain) are for users who need maximum grip on rough ground but also want the properties needed for conventional roads. With robust architecture and great handling, the former is more comfortable while the latter is more extreme, they are part of an extensive range of sizes from 15 to 18 inches that will offer the majority of 4x4s good support in the most difficult conditions.