Following the extraordinary quarantine measures taken by the Italian government on Sunday evening to protect against the threat of the spread of Coronavirus, the Italian retreading industry has been reacting with stoicism and a “Business as Usual” attitude, although the country’s national retreading association AIRP, has expressed concerns about the future impact of the emergency on retread demand.
Italian Retread Sector Operating as Normal
Stefano Carloni, president of AIRP, declared; “Despite the efforts of the Italian production system to continue working as much as possible, the coronavirus health emergency is having profound impacts on the entire national economy, which is currently difficult to quantify. The tyre retreading industry continues to produce and sell, but it is easy to forecast that the slowdown in freight traffic and private transport will result in a corresponding drop in the demand for replacement tyres in the coming months. Our hope is that the containment measures will not be excessively lasting, and that politics will be able to implement effective measures for the economic recovery as soon as the health crisis has passed.
“As AIRP, we also hope that this moment of crisis can be useful to stimulate reflections on the future, because if the decline in the market can be a short-term problem, there are numerous medium and long-term objectives to which we must work. On the one hand, in fact, we look with confidence to the transposition of the European directives on the circular economy, which we hope will concretely incentivise all the products that are subject to remanufacturing. At the same time, a profound rethinking of our production and consumption models can no longer be postponed: adopting a circular and sustainable economy system means effectively imposing the production of reusable products (in our case: retreadable tyres), which are certified as such, making an industrial shift from production to remanufacturing, which will allow, among other things, to bring back a lot of previously delocalised labour to our countries.”
Meanwhile, the leading Italian suppliers of equipment and accessories appeared to be working normally. In responding to Retreading Business’s messages of support, Italmatic, Marangoni, MAE, Salvadori and TRM all stated their that their production and logistics departments were in regular working operation and that their ability to service their clientele had been unaffected by the emergency. Indeed, Marangoni pointed out that the transportation of goods does not fall under the activities subject to limitations of movement imposed by the government, and that drivers were therefore continuing to transport and deliver goods as normal.
A similar situation prevails in the tyre recycling sector. Giovanni Corbetta, from the Italian EPR Group Ecopneus commented; “Our activity is going on, in full respect of the new rules: we are working from home (to avoid unnecessary contacts among people) while collection, transports and shredding is continuing as industrial activities have not been stopped, above all when they are not creating gatherings or groupings of persons.”