The world of retreading looks a lot like the rest of the U.S. tire industry. Customer demand is strong, but the supply side of the equation has been problematic. One issue is tread rubber. As one retreader puts it, his business is focusing “on maintaining customers, while our rubber supplier hurts us with terrible fill rates.”
The challenges of 2020 have been immense, and commercial tire dealers are doing their best to weather the storm. As Bob Berlin, president of Orange, Mass.-based Pete’s Tire Barns Inc., put it, “We’re pretty much flat for the year — and we’re happy.”
The dealerships on the 2019 Modern Tire Dealer 100 did a lot of buying and building in the last 12 months to strengthen their market positions in a consolidating industry. More transactions and projects are in the pipeline.
It’s difficult to find a topic most people agree on, but among retreaders, concern over low-cost Chinese tires is one of them. “We are constantly looking for ways to cut cost out of the retread process so that we can be competitive,” says Chris Chase, president of Donald B. Rice Tire Co. Inc., which goes to market as Rice Retreading Inc.