King Tire Service Inc., Bluefield, W.V., has reopened the doors of its 25,000-square-foot retread tire facility as the first ContiLifeCycle licensee in the U.S.
King Tire, a 40-year-old tire dealership servicing the I-77 and I-81 corridor in southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia, will be supplied with flat, precure ContiTread products from Continental’s tread production facility in Morelia, Mexico. The retreaded ContiLifeCycle tires sold at King’s will be the first produced in the U.S. from flat precure treads featuring the same pattern designs, rubber compounding and tread technology in new Continental brand truck tires.
At the grand reopening event on Sept. 23, 2011, Paul Williams, Continental Tire the Americas LLC’s executive vice president for truck tires, said King Tire’s decision to become a licensee represents a milestone for Continental.
“King Tire is recognized by its customers as a premier provider of commercial truck tires, both new and retreads, along this important highway corridor. Over 40 years they have built a fantastic reputation for both consumer and fleet tire sales and service.”
King Tire owner Sam King employs 150 experienced tire personnel at eight locations and sells both commercial and consumer tires, including the Continental and General brands. Its retread facility in Bluefield, formerly a Michelin Retread Technologies plant, employs 16 personnel and is capable of producing up to 60,000 ContiTread truck tires annually.
“We chose to become a ContiLifeCycle licensee so that we could offer something very important to our customers — performance,” said King. “This high level of technology, along with Continental’s great customer service and support, is exactly what we’ve been looking for, and we think our fleet customers will feel the same way.”
Conti’s Williams: Fleets need retread solutions
King Tire Service Inc. in Bluefield, W.V., recently held a grand re-opening as the first ContiLifeCycle licensee in the U. S. Paul Williams, Continental Tire the Americas LLC’s executive vice president for truck tires, says the move was two years in the making.
“What’s always amazed me is how a dealer can sell one type of new tire and then some other type of retread to a fleet,” Williams explains. “For truck tire manufacturers like us, you have to make a decision. We made ours two years ago. You have to decide that you’re going to be a solution provider with retreads or you’re not.”
Williams says Continental has become a retread solution provider with ContiLifeCycle. The retreaded ContiLifeCycle tires sold at King Tire will be the first produced in the U.S. from flat precure treads featuring the same pattern designs, rubber compounding and tread technology that are included in new Continental brand truck tires.
“Surely for the fleet, once they decide on the best tire for their application, then they’re done,” he says. “You retread it and you want something that’s always going to perform at the same level as the product you picked in the first place. I’m just amazed how this industry has worked that other way for so many years. You flip-flop an argument every 18 months.”
Williams says that to be a fleet solution provider, a tire maker must give the fleet a product that’s going to work for its entire life. For its first life, its second and maybe even its third or fourth life.
“That’s what you have to be if you want to be a solution provider to a fleet,” he explains. “If you want to drive his lowest overall cost, that’s you’re only option.”