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The market for cost-effective and sustainable retread tyres is growing with companies joining forces and launching innovations, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Major tyre suppliers including Firestone, Cooper Tyre, Goodyear Tyre & Rubber, Camso and others have increased their prices of select tyres this year amid the rising demand. Tyre retreading and retread tyres offer cost effective, at the same time, environment-friendly solutions to tyre price hikes.
Retreading is a re-manufacturing process through which, old and worn-out tyre treads are replaced by new ones. Retreading is applied to casings of old tyres after inspection. Retreading of tyres costs at least 40% less than the cost of a new tyre, Future Market Insights (FMI) intoned in a latest retread tyre market report. It forecast that the value of the market is set to reach over US$13.6 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.6% from 2018.
The development of advanced retread designs, quality of retread compounds and eco-friendly tyres is highlighted in the global automotive retread market, which is expected to incur revenues of nearly US$8 billion by 2022, Technavio indicated in its 2018-2022 market report. It reiterated that retread tyre’s cost-advantage is a main growth driver in the market, as it finds high adoption in commercial vehicles, especially HCVs.
Demand for replacement tyres will increase on the growing vehicle parc and large fleet owners of commercial vehicles prefer tyre remoulding to ensure cost effectiveness. Hence, growth in automobile, forestry and construction is expected to create growth opportunities for the retread tyres market, FMI added.
The retread tyre market in China is expected to represent significantly high incremental opportunity from 2018-2028; and sales of retread tyres in Southeast Asia and the Pacific are projected to exceed US$469 million over the same period, FMI noted.
The global sales of retread tyres is estimated to be valued at US$8 billion by the end of 2018, with the China retread tyre market estimated to account for a value share of 29.6% by 2018 end and is anticipated to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period, said FMI.
Sales of retread tyres are directly related to vehicle production. Despite unstable economic conditions in the market in the recent past, the global automotive industry has witnessed satisfactory growth. Automotive production is anticipated to increase with a modest CAGR of 3%-3.5% during the forecast period, explained FMI.
Innovation is key to advancing the sector
Development of advanced tyre retreading processes and technologies is a key emerging trend in the global automotive retreaded tyre market, and this, Technavio purported is a major factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
Adoption of retreaded tyres in the commercial vehicle market, and the improved retread designs are helping to drive the growth momentum of the market, Technavio reported.
Marangoni GRP Private Limited (MGPL), the joint venture between Italy’s Marangoni and India’s GRP, and active in the commercial vehicle retreading sector in India, has launched its first full service Ringtread franchisee in India, Autobahn Retreading, part of Autobahn Trucking Corporation, located at Cochin, Kerala.
Giuseppe Marangoni, Vice President, Marangoni Group stressed that Marangoni’s splice-less retreading technology, also known as Ringtread, offers a solution for India, a key growth market for the company, to reduce operating costs of fleets in the country.
Ringtread is the only retreading system that uses splice-less precured rings that adhere to the casing without a splice, tension or deformation, thus, lowering fuel consumption and less emissions. The perfect geometry and the use of latest-generation compounds assure higher mileage and better grip under any road condition, Marangoni explained.
Autobahn Retreading will use Marangoni’s global processes to refurbish worn-out tyres, provide quick service to fleets and also provide tyre consultancy to enable fleets to become more efficient.
Hemant Kaul, CEO of MGPL emphasises Marangoni- GRP’s commitment, to setting up a pan-India network of franchisees and make Marangoni’s globally proven tyre retreading technology available on a larger scale to the Indian market within the next two years.
Elsewhere, Netherlands-headquartered VMI has introduced a new concept for retreading automation. The Retrax with automatic builder and stitcher uses cushion gum extrusion-smearing technology and automatically applies the tread to buffed tyre casings. It features automatic alignment of the tread on the casing which gives a high accuracy. The builder balanced stretching provides a perfectly matching splice, says VMI. The tread tension is optimally distributed around the tyre. This innovation in automation, according to VMI, improves the quality of the retreaded tyre.
VMI, describing in a nutshell how the technology works, said that after applying the cushion gum layer, the tyre moves to the tread applicator, where the tread is applied and stretched automatically. The Retrax builder does not require parameter input for tyre width or diameter. It automatically measures the tyre and the tread and alerts operator if they do not match. Specially shaped quick change side dies, known as wing formers, are also available, so cushion gum can be partially extruded onto the casing shoulder.
VMI featured its automated retreading solutions, including the Retrax at a global conference for retreading industry held in Cologne, Germany in June.
Major players in the same mould for expansion
South Korean Hankook Tire has acquired independent German tyre distributor Reifen-Mueller, including its retreading business Reifen-Mueller GmbH & Co. Runderneuerungswerk KG, to accelerate global distribution and innovation.
Founded in 1966, Reifen-Mueller currently runs 44 service centres in Germany, selling a wide range of tyres from passenger car, and light truck to heavy truck and bus tyre segments as well as motorcycle and agricultural tyres. The acquisition is expected to expand Hankook Tire’s distribution channels in Europe.
The US’s largest OTR retreader, Purcell Tire & Rubber Company, has acquired Portland, Oregonbased OTR retreading company Northwest Retreaders. The acquisition will mark the expansion of the two family-owned companies’ OTR and speciality tyre retreading footprint, enabling them to provide retreading solutions that bring value to their respective customers by reducing operating costs through improved casing management, say the companies.
Major North American intermodal chassis leasing services specialist FlexiVan is scooping up New Pride Corporation and all the assets of its intermodal tyre division. FlexiVan will continue all tyre operations at the New Pride US sites, including its distribution facility, tyre retreading plant, service centre, and others. New Pride, a major supplier of new and retread tyres for the intermodal transportation industry, had introduced in 1998 a specialised bias ply tyre followed with a steel radial tyre in 2003.
The company said that it sources its retread products from South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and China and new tyres from China and India.