TreadWright Looks to Expand Distribution
Light Truck Tire Remolder is Ready to Move Beyond E-Commerce
TreadWright Tires LLC, a Houston, Texas-based bead-to-bead tire remolder, is moving from an e-commerce model to selling more units through traditional wholesale distributors and is looking for customers who can help accelerate that process.
“TreadWright has always been a technology start-up company,” says Anthony Showen, who, together with a private equity partner, acquired the firm in 2014 and quickly extended its remold technology into the light truck arena. (For most of its 40-year history, TreadWright produced non-branded remolds for ag and construction applications.)
“Since then, we have brought to market over 40 light truck sizes in four different tread patterns,” says Showen - all produced at TreadWright’s 60,000-square-foot manufacturing center in Houston.
TreadWright’s lineup includes mud-terrain and all-terrain (A/T) light truck tires marketed under the Axiom, Claw, Dirt Lord, Mud Lord and Warden names.
Showen says the company “is the largest light truck remolder in the world, with a capacity of 10,000 units a month,” and has a proven technology that’s “ready for mass distribution.”
Ready for more
TreadWright’s remold process starts with a premium casing, according to Showen. “TreadWright builders extrude a soft rubber compound onto each tire with a sidewall veneer layer. These tires are then placed into individual molds for curing. Each tire comes out identical with a new Department of Transportation number.”
Because TreadWright’s process recycles “70% of the tire... we use this cost saving to purchase some of the best rubber compounds in the world to offer six-month road hazard warranties and 40,000-mile warranties on A/T treads.
“Remolding (also) allows us to produce an environmentally friendly tire that is affordable and made in the United States,” which Showen says is another selling point of the product.
For the last several years, TreadWright “has been focused on building a strong presence in the e-commerce space,” says Showen. The company’s products are available through Walmart. com and Amazon. The latter company “requires a less-than-1% rejection rate to be a fully qualified vendor,” he adds. “Amazon and Walmart have great drop ship programs, which means we can fullfill orders from our three distribution centers,” which are located in Houston, Colorado and Oklahoma.
“If you are a small company like TreadWright, you get the marketing power of two of the biggest retail giants in the U.S.
“This has allowed us to bring our new technology to market without a crippling marketing budget.”
E-commerce accounts for 90% of the company’s business and has been its most profitable sales channel. “But the cost of doing business” via e-commerce “continues to rise,” says Showen. “Freight costs are up 25% through FedEx home deliveries,” which has prompted TreadWright to explore other distribution options.
The customer connection
Showen says the company is looking at selling through “independently owned distribution companies in the short term.
“This has more to do with our volume - 10,000 tires a month - and the fact they have a more intimate relationship with their customers.
“The mature dealer has a longer sales cycle and the wholesale already has a relationship with dealers. This reduces the sales cycle.”
TreadWright can offer “deep discounts with exclusive sales territories,” says Showen, who adds that the company will prioritize distributors in rural areas due to the light truck bent of its products.
“However, this will change over the next few years as we enter the passenger and small SUV segments.”
At the same time, TreadWright is “considering partnerships” with existing retreaders. (“We have standing purchase orders for nearly $3.5 million worth of casings for 2023.”)
TreadWright - which is “on the cusp” of being a $100 million a year company over the next three to five years - also is looking at destinations “for relocating our Houston manufacturing operation. We are looking to move into two separate locations more centrally located to shipping and distribution routes.”