LOUISVILLE, Ky.-Conditions look good for continued growth in commercial truck tire retreading in 1995, although production levels for other types of retreaded tires are expected to remain even with 1994, according to the American Retreader's Association's industry forecast in the December issue of the Tire Retreading/Repair Journal. The total number of retread plants in the U.S. dropped from 1,475 in 1993 to 1,376 in 1994, ARA Executive Director Marvin Bozarth said. The ARA predicts only 1,350 plants will be operating by the end of 1995 due to the closure of several small firms.
By the end of last year, 250 U.S. plants were producing passenger retreads, according to the ARA, and about 1,257 plants were involved in medium truck tire retreading.
Other trends in the industry included:
Passenger retread production fell to 5.9 million units in 1994, from 6.6 million in 1993. Production is expected to drop again to 5.4 million this year, with most of the decrease occurring in shops that retread fewer than 100 tires daily.
Light truck retread production levels in 1994 remained virtually even with 1993 at 7.35 million units, with little change predicted in 1995.
Medium truck tire retreads jumped to an estimated 15.7 million units last year, compared to 15.4 million in 1993, with an anticipated increase to 15.9 million units in 1995.
Off-the-road retread output climbed to 665,000 units in 1994 from 660,000 in 1993.
Throughout 1995, retreaders will have to watch escalating materials prices and interest rates, Mr. Bozarth said.
In the article, he also noted, ``the continuing shortage of quality retreadable casings and low-cost new tires will be an ongoing, major problem for retreaders.''