Use of retreads in Europe on the rise
Some 7.5 million retreads are produced in the European Union (EU) each year. That number is expected to increase in 2009, says Brenno Benaglia, president of Bipaver, Europe's trade association for the retread industry.
Forty three percent of all replacement tires sold in the EU are retreads, whether passenger or medium truck, according to Benaglia.
In some countries -- including Finland and Sweden -- retreads make up more than 50% of tires on the road. (Nearly two million of the EU's retreads are produced by new tire manufacturers, with "the vast majority made by Michelin.")
"In Europe we also have a lot of small plants that produce 5,000 to 6,000 retreads a year."
Bipaver is working on three main initiatives for 2009, Benaglia recently told www.moderntiredealer.com.
The association's first goal is to change often negative public perception about retreading. "Retreading is the first way to avoid scap tires and give continuity to good, quality new tires... the possibility of a second or third tire life.
"Secondly, we're working on the fact we have to promote the fuel saving qualities of retreads. What we want to tell people is the way you use retreads is absolutely important. If your retreads are under-inflated, your vehicle's fuel consumption will be higher.
"Finally, we want to create and promote a culture of how to use all tires. We're using the same arguments that the major tire manufacturers tell consumers."