LOUISVILLE, Ky.-Retreaders in the United Kingdom, especially England, have set an example others would do well to emulate, according to Paolo Borgianni, export manager for Italian retread equipment maker Cima Impianti S.p.A. Speaking as part of a panel on global trends in retreading, Mr. Borgianni said in recent years several British retreaders have made major investments in highly automated, technically sophisticated equipment for producing bead-to-bead remolded passenger tires.
As a result, he said, they have increased their productivity and improved product quality, while keeping their prices competitive-factors that have enabled them to thrive in the face of tough competition from cheap new-tire imports from eastern Europe and Asia.
These British retreaders have broken into the European market and most have become export-oriented, Mr. Borgianni said. In fact, they have virtually killed the domestic passenger tire retreading industry in Germany, where retreaders did not make comparable investments and have high labor costs, he said.
``Only retreaders who invest in state-of-the-art technology will have a successful future,'' Mr. Borgianni concluded, adding that they also will need the help of tire manufacturers, who should dedicate themselves to improving the retreadability of their casings.
Retreaders' goal, he said, should be to produce a product as good as-or better than-a new tire.