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            COMPANY NEWS
       through its service life, regrooving, retreading, repairs, and ultimately they can view its disposal paperwork. We have simplified the system so that our clients have a single point of data recording rather than reams of paperwork that has to be retained as a record of traceability. We have simplified the system.”
“Retreading is a prime example of how Goodyear is a total service provider, with retreading as part of a complete tyre package that is aimed at minimising costs to the fleet operator,” concludes Lezek Szafran. The Goodyear in-house offer is all hot cure, and it almost goes without saying that the in-house hot cure process uses the same compounding and tread technologies that are used by the new tyre manufacturing operations of Goodyear. However, Goodyear’s network of authorised retreaders are focused on pre-cure. How does the Goodyear philosophy extend to their retread offer?
“You are correct,” said Szafran, “Goodyear’s own retread production in Europe is hot cure, but we do have an authorised retread network who offer pre-cure, and in some markets pre-cure is the only viable option due to the cost of establishing a hot cure plant, or because the pre- cure is the product that the market is prepared to pay for.
“In these cases we offer a range of
Goodyear treads using the same technologies and compounds as are used for new tyres, but in a pre-cure package. Our retreaders have to use our specified procedures and materials and we provide the materials and technical support. We prefer our authorised retreaders to only offer Goodyear retreads.
“The difference between a Goodyear pre-cure retreader and an independent is that Goodyear supplies a full package of materials, training and support so that the retread produced will provide a similar level of performance to that expected of any other Goodyear product. Quality is not something that we will relinquish.
“It should be noted that when we design a new truck tyre we also design its companion retread. So when a new K-Max or Fuel Max tyre is brought to market, it is accompanied by a matching Tread Max retread offer.”
Where does Goodyear see the future of retreading across Europe? “Retreading in the West is pretty much a mature market. There are some areas with room for development but the market can only see slow growth. In Central and Eastern Europe there is much more potential for growth. The fleets are growing and the truck operators from Eastern Europe now find
themselves as pan-European services, so they are accessing Truckforce and they are seeing the benefits of the materials and services that are already matured in the West. We expect to see more growth in these markets as the quality perception grows. As Goodyear continues to deliver “as new” performance from its retreads, we expect to see growth in these markets.”
“We also expect to see benefits from the improved infrastructure and as the roads improve that is when the fleets will see the greater benefits of using a retread service.
“Fleets are becoming more cost conscious and that is driving the demand for better mileage, versatility and these in turn are all new elements for the retreader to take into account. Goodyear has the technology to be at the forefront of delivering the correct products and materials to allow our retread operations to meet that growing demand and to face the coming challenges of technology. For some independent retreaders meeting these growing demands may not be so easy. The suppliers to the independent sector may be able to approximate tread patterns, though they cannot copy the latest designs without consent, but they cannot copy the compounds and the compounding is a very important
element of creating the efficient modern tyre with all the correct properties demanded by the modern market. That differential between the independent retreader and the tyre manufacturer will always drive the market towards the better quality new tyres and retreads package offered by Goodyear.”
What we have talked about largely is the servicing of fleets. The European market consists of a wide variety of fleet sizes from the 1000 trailer fleets of some of the UK and French supermarket chains, through all sizes of international, national and regional fleets, to small family operations with just one or two trucks. Does Goodyear target the larger fleets? How does it deal with the smaller independents? “Goodyear deals with all sizes of fleets. Some we deal with directly, others, smaller fleets and independents will be dealt with by our Truckforce network. We are capable of dealing with all sizes of operation. Every fleet or truck operator can access the Goodyear quality whole life tyre package anywhere in Europe.”

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