Vipal Looks For More Growth in 2022
'This is the Right Time to Invest in Efficiency For Production,' Says Rigon
Vipal Rubber Corp. grew its North American business significantly last year and anticipates an even better 2022. In this MTD exclusive, Leandro Rigon, Vipal’s director of international business, explains why.
MTD: We estimate that the total number of medium truck tire retreads produced in the United States during 2021 grew significantly from 2020 levels - 16 million units versus 14 million units, respectively. Did Vipal see a corresponding increase in its business during 2021?
Rigon: Vipal ended last year with an average growth rate of more than 25% in the American and Canadian retreading markets. 2021 was the year of economic recovery after a very difficult 2020 due to lockdowns and the global crisis caused by the pandemic.
With the economic recovery in 2021, the sector’s demands grew sharply. Even though it was a very difficult year in logistics, Vipal was able to consistently deliver its products and services of premium quality.
MTD: What is the state of the U.S. retread market as we move into 2022? What do you see in terms of demand, etc. and are those levels sustainable?
Rigon: We believe this year will follow a solid growth trend, both in expanding sales to our current customers and to new customers and partners joining our portfolio and using Vipal products and services. The economy’s recovery is yet a strong (indicator of) the growth of tire retreading activity.
Among the high-quality treads and retreading services, Vipal (also encourages) the use of tools that can help companies manage their vehicles’ tires. Vipal Fleets is an example of an exclusive software that allows quick and accurate diagnosis of a fleet’s tires. It also helps in stock control and tire management, indicating to the user the need for removal and the right time to retread each tire - helping to reduce the cost-per-mile for fleets and truck owners, among other benefits.
In the long-term, the trend is that our customer base will continue to grow, both on the West Coast and the East Coast.
MTD: Can you summarize Vipal’s business in 2021?
Rigon: We had solid growth concerning current customers and the arrival of new ones to the family. We have increased sales over 30% on the West Coast, 22% on the East Coast and over 40% in Canada, where we faced severe restrictions concerning the pandemic. We managed to expand the sales of our entire line of products and exclusive designs of treads aimed at the most diverse needs of our partners and customers.
We believe that increasing our market share in such competitive markets as the American and Canadian markets was our main achievement in 2021.
MTD: Can you bring us up to speed on Vipal Machinery? What are your goals for this business unit?
Rigon: We have several negotiations with companies that want to rely on the efficiency and performance of the equipment developed by Vipal Machinery. New customers will be known as we install our equipment.
We realize that the U.S. is facing one of the worst crises in obtaining qualified labor in all sectors of the economy, which is not different in the retreading market. Therefore, investing in equipment with a high degree of automation and requiring (a smaller) workforce to perform the service is an exciting alternative for companies.
This is the right time to invest in efficiency for production and Vipal Machinery offers state-of-the-art equipment.