Every year the UK-based National Tyre Dealers Association (NTDA) holds its enthusiastically attended conference which from experience I have always considered to be a reliable measure of what is happening in the tire industry — not just in the UK but throughout Europe as the two markets are closely linked.
The sale of defective or part-worn tires remains a thorn in the side of the tire industry around the world. We know that unsafe, unlawful tires cause death and mayhem on our roads, but the sale of part-worns is a global problem that appears to be reluctantly tolerated... that is, until now.
Although it would be fair to say that the problem of part-worn tire sales has remained at a manageable level for the European industry during the past couple of years, it is still viewed as a serious thorn in the side of the safety image of modern tires — and nowhere more so than in the UK.
In early October, as usual I attended the UK Tyre Industry Conference 2015 which is presented by the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) as it is always a very informative source of what’s happening in this busy and competitive market.
In my January column, I wrote that Singapore-based tire producer Omni United (S) Pte. Ltd. had “broken new ground” in the tire industry by launching its Timberland tire range in a unique association with a designer label — Timberland Footwear. I have been surprised by the speed in which this new innovative development has caught the attention and imagination of many people in the industry, especially here in Europe.
I recently attended the three-day Brityrex Show in the UK, and this biannual event featured for the very first time a special seminar entitled TyreTalk that incorporated a series of speakers from various aspects of the tire industry.
They have been a major problem within the European tire industry for years now and even with the many technological innovations in tire manufacturing and tighter legislation such as tire labeling that have taken place over the years they simply will not go away.