A tax imposed on imported budget Chinese tyres has dramatically reduced the amount of cheap rubber coming into the UK, giving the European retread industry a much-needed boost.
“It’s definitely been good news for retreads, but it hasn’t been quite as positive as we had hoped,” explained Terry Salter, Bridgestone’s truck product manager of Northern Europe. “Unfortunately people have got out of the habit of buying retreads.”
While the Chinese were dumping cheap tyres in Europe, and hauliers changed their buying habits, so 25% of European retread factories were forced to close. But Bridgestone, which owns the Bandag retread brand, stayed committed.
“We firmly believe that it is the right thing, not only from a financial point of view, but for society and the environment too,” declared Salter. "Every truck tyre contains 70kg of steel rubber and oil, and when a tyre is retreaded, most of these materials are used again. It’s time to start re-educating people.".