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     Largest project faces new challenges
According to the head of the "Management Company Tatneft- Neftehim" Anwar Vahitov, which is currently implementing a major project for the construction of a retreading plant with the participation of Marangoni, a serious problem is also associated with the fact that new projects today require more investment, especially as Russia is not producing the appropriate equipment for the retreading business. Once again, as a result of the devaluation of the ruble, the amount of money that needs to be initially put into new projects has significantly jumped.
"However, it has not affected our project,” said Vahitov. “We paid off all costs when there were no such troubles with the exchange rate of the Russian ruble, so investment remained at the originally planned level.”
However, the management of Tatneft confirms that, just like other manufacturers, it will not be able to avoid the problems of the rising cost of imported casings. Raphael Badretdinov, Executive Director of the trading house Kama, the partner of Tatneft in its retreading project, explained that it is hard to predict the amount of benefit from purchasing retreaded tyres for customers due to the fluctuations of the ruble.
“The technology of Marangoni which will be used in the new project involves mostly imported raw materials, and in the first
place – casings,” he said. "But the generally accepted ratio is that the benefit for customers will be 65-70 per cent compared to the price of a new tyre. This ratio is accepted by Michelin, Goodyear, as well as other manufacturers. We are guided by the experience of other players."
At the same time, the management of "Tatneft” has noted that, according to some expert’s predictions, if the general economic situation develops negatively, the cost of retreading tyres in Russia may get close to, or even become equal to the cost of new tyres in rubles. In such a situation it will be difficult to predict the further development of the market. Russian companies today admit that they are not able to find enough raw materials in the domestic market.
"We have to admit that in Russia today there is no culture of retreading,” said Raphael
Badretdinov. “In general, there are a number of pilot projects [for the partial use of Russian casings]. They are implemented by the plants with a high level of production quality, the nearest of which is based in Togliatti – the production of the “Povolzie Tyre Company”. But in Russia it is usual to run tyres to the last, and assume that the casing is beyond retreading, although it all depends on the operating conditions and the timely removal of the casing. It is necessar y to change that mentality. If this is achieved, retreading has a great future."
Situation is not critical
The management of other retreading plants in Russia have so far refrained from commenting on the market situation. A representative of Michelin’s Russian factor y on condition of anonymity also said that his company faces some difficulties due to the current situation. "Almost all retreading companies were caught in the middle due to the current crisis. On the one hand we have to buy casings mainly for euros and sell the final products primarily for rubles. As a result, the total returns per retreading of one tyre has dropped by 30-40 per cent. Michelin is in a better situation than our competitors, but still we have to deal with this situation. Partly, we have added the changes in the exchange rate to the price of our products, but in part we have also absorbed these costs," he said.
For instance, Michelin has invested EUR 20 million in the construction of a plant for the production of 250,000 retreaded tyres per year in Davidovo city. Currently, it is the largest producer of retreaded tyres in the countr y. "At the moment the situation is not critical, however, it is quite difficult to predict the long-term development of the industr y. There are serious concerns about the stopping of operations at automotive plants in the countr y and the reduction of the capacity of the Russian car market, but at the same time the retreading industry can find support due to a growing desire on the part of Russian businesses to find cost- effective solutions," he added. Anton Kalmakov also agree with the fact that the decline in the profitability of production due to the currency crisis in the industr y can be partly compensated for by growth in demand, at least it will
enable plants to maintain sufficient difference in price between their production and new tyres on the market.
"I would not call the current situation catastrophic, or anything like that,” he said. “We have new challenges and new opportunities.
In the future, many manufacturers will be able to think about exporting products, which due to the currency crisis has become an attractive option. Now, the important thing is not to panic and patiently wait for the end of the storm".
 PTC Announces Expansion of Product Range
The Russia based Povolzie Tyre Company (PTC) has conducted the retreading of Off Road Tyres (OTR) tyres in size 40.00 R-57 as part of its strategy to develop a position in the premium segment of the market. According to the
share of retreaded tyres in the Russian truck tyre market is still is only standing at about 5 per cent”, said Bondarenko. “On the one hand, many Russian fleet operators and truck drivers are still very poorly aware of the
PCT is investing in new technology to approach the premium sector of the market, which company head Sergey Bondarenko believes is the only area where retreading can make headway in the current climate
company, it is the first time a tyre of this size has been retreaded in Russia using the hot cure method.
According to the company’s head, Sergey Bondarenko, “the different production technology will enable the company to be more flexible to the desires of the customers, which ultimately will allow it to become more competitive in the market." In the opinion of Bondarenko, the innovations are needed to respond to the changing demand at the premium segment of the market, which PTC considers to be the most promising.
PTC has specialised in the retreading of truck and OTR tyres since the launch of the plant in Togliatti in 2011. Representatives of the company say that the overall size of the market is still low, compared to European countries, but the demand from customers for new technical solutions is steadily growing. “There are many reasons why the
importance of conservation and the proper use of tyres. In other words, traffic is often overloaded, while the roads are in poor condition and tyres are used until the tread wears out almost to the metal cord.”
So, given the distinctive features of the Russian market, in the opinion of Sergey Bondarenko “the premium segment of the retreading market is the only one today where we can survive, and where we can grow”.
PTC produces retreaded tyres under the brand Bontyre, including OTR tyres of the sizes 24.00 R-35, 27.00 R-49, 33.00 R- 51 and 40.00 R-57. The company is constantly looking for innovations that can help it develop the market. Currently, PTC claims to be the only Russian retreading company using shearography for the inspection of OTR tyres.
     58 Retreading Business

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