CTNA enters retread market with own product
Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) has joined the ranks of medium truck tire manufacturers offering their own retread products.
CTNA will offer its own Continental branded retreads under the ContiTread name in both the United States and Mexico.
Marangoni Tread North America (MTNA) licensees will produce ContiTread retreads for fleet customers at their plants, says MTNA CEO Bill Sweatman. The ContiTread product is currently running on several test fleets in the U.S.
"One of the things we recognized is that we did not have a complete lifecycle solution," says Paul Williams, executive vice president, Commercial Vehicle Tires, The Americas, CTNA. "It's just something we needed to have in our portfolio of armament. Marangoni is the facilitator."
ContiTread will be available in two designs. One is based on the Continental HDL Eco Plus truck tire and the other is based on the Continental HTL Eco Plus truck tire.
"We've copied the HDL Eco Plus and the HTL Eco Plus tread designs for a premium drive retread and a premium trailer retread," Williams told www.moderntiredealer.com. The retreads also will contain the same compounds as the new tires.
Customers "will get a retread that will look almost exactly the same and will perform almost exactly the same as the original tire," he explains.
"The reasons a fleet would select the HDL Eco Plus for a new trailer tire -- the fuel savings and performance -- shouldn't be any different than why they would select a retread to do the same. The retreads should be a copy. Why should they be any different? The applications aren't any different."
ContiTread will be available both as a Marangoni RINGtread product and as "premium, cut-to-length technology, depending on size and other criteria," says MTNA's Sweatman.
A handful of MTNA licensees currently are distributing the product "on a very limited, pre-launch basis," he adds. The product is expected to be available through MTNA's entire network of retreaders this summer.
The CTNA-MTNA alliance is an outgrowth of an existing tread rubber manufacturing agreement between the firms' parent companies, Continental AG and Marangoni SpA, in Europe, according to Sweatman.
No ContiTread products have been sold in Mexico yet. Williams reveals that CTNA's dealers in Mexico have been asking for a retread product "for years."
Field testing of the product will continue. "We've put some product out there and it's being tested in various stages, which will allow us to come back and make some very bold statements about what to expect," says Sweatman.
The Continental truck tire brand has 2.5% of the U.S. medium/heavy truck tire market, according to Modern Tire Dealer research. The General brand has 4.5% market share. (There were 15.5 million medium/heavy truck tire units shipped in 2008, according to MTD data.)
The truck tire market share percentages enjoyed by other commercial truck tire manufacturers that also offer their own retreading systems break down as follows: Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (25.5% total share), Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (24% share), and Michelin North America Inc. (22% share).