July 2012: Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems – Are We Ready for it?
Mandating TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) is in the offing and the frontrunner in tyre industry retailing, ATS Euromaster expresses its views on its implementation in the retail market.
What is TPMS?
Starting this November, all freshly rolled out cars will need to include an air pressure based TPMS in accordance with the European legislation on vehicle emissions and tyre safety. This system checks and warns the driver if the air pressure in the tyre drops 20% below the optimum inflation level.
Michelin’s Fleet Panel arranged a meet at the end of June 2012 and posed questions to leading retailers in the industry about this innovative tyre safety system. A collective response from these indicated that the retail industry is ready for this mega move. ATS Euromaster said that it feels that the execution of this new technology will impact the consumers more than fleets.
Peter Fairlie, Group Sales Director at ATS Euromaster clarified further saying that cost implications of this move on business fleets will be much lesser because these replace owned vehicles every 3 to 5 years. On the other hand, as the sensors used in TPMS have an estimated lifespan of about 5 to 7 years, the 2nd and 3rd life vehicle owners will be impacted maximum due to servicing costs.
The Preparedness at ATSE
ATS revealed their preparedness and future plans pertaining to TPMS by executing pilot schemes before its launch to ensure that their centres stay abreast with the latest technology and possess the necessary equipment like replacement sensors and service kits.
Their employees are also being trained comprehensively before the enforcement of legislation in November this year.
Their staff is being encouraged to gear up for the new rule by understanding in detail the existing TPMS variants in the market.
The Cost Involved
ATSE said that it was difficult to gauge the average price of implementing this system because different models of vehicles will need TPMS sensors, valves and service kits with different specifications.
However, currently the estimated market selling price for an average TPMS service kit could range from £5 to £15 and replacement sensors between £50 and £150; the exact figure would depend on the vehicle’s model.
The History of TPMS
ATS Euromaster also drew attention to the history of this technology and traced it back to its use in luxury cars back in 1980s as an optional feature. It added that the system was increasingly employed after 1999 when Peugeot standardized it in its 607 model.
Michelin’s Head of Fleet Sales, Mr. Dave Crinson expressed his team’s gratefulness towards leading tyre retailers including ATS Euromaster for their contribution and feedback on TPMS implementation. He added that the aspects of enhanced safety and economized fuel consumption due to optimum tyre pressure are the undeniable benefits of TPMS.
However, added costs related to servicing and replacement of the system and the ambiguity about the life span and exact cost of a TPMS can be determined only with practical applications.