Unique Rubber Technologies, the Brazilian manufacturer of retread products and compounds, has announced that it is aiming to achieve significant growth in the Brazilian domestic market as well as overseas growth on specific projects. This was revealed during a recent interview with Unique Rubber’s General Director Manoel Piragibe held at the company’s head office in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil.
Although Unique has kept a fairly low profile on the global retreading market, the company is actually the second largest manufacturer of retread products and compounds in South America, employing 400 people in a 240,000 sq m facility with a capacity of 6,600 tonnes of compound per month, 3,200 of precured tread and 2,000 of camelback. The reason for the relatively low profile is that Unique’s strategy is to manufacture tailor-made private branded treads for a variety of well-known clients within the retreading industry. In addition, the company produces compound for several key new tyre manufacturers in the South American market.
According to Manoel Piragibe, the benefit of this approach is that the company is not caught up in the complications of managing a network. “When you work in a network you are limited by local competition,” he explained. “You can manage much better when you are free. What we can offer is increased flexibility to clients, and the market seems to appreciate this.
“We can also offer an exceptionally quick response in terms of product development,” he continued. “We can produce moulds internally, so we can achieve a very fast turnaround compared to competition. We can supply any kind of brand in the market and offer treads both with and without pre-applied cushion gum.”
At present Unique’s sales are mostly in Brazil, but the company does export treads on behalf of Tipler to Argentina, Chile and Ecuador, and has recently started to export the Borex brand to the Argentinian market.
Although Unique’s primary strategy is on expansion in the domestic market, the company is also looking for partners for specific projects in a number of overseas markets.
“Unique can provide a wide range of bespoke tread products for the retreading sector, and we are now looking to expand both at home and abroad,” confirmed Piragibe.