ATHENS, Ga.—Although the pending joint venture between Treadco Inc. and Goodyear will leave a huge hole in Oliver Rubber Co.'s business, the retread systems and tread rubber supplier already is moving on.
Richard Volk, Oliver's vice president of North American sales, told Tire Business that Oliver and its parent, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., currently are developing their own strategies in the commercial tire market to "enhance our combined retread and new-tire commercial products effort."
"The loss of Treadco's business will certainly be felt in the short run, but we look forward to establishing an increasing presence in the commercial tire market," Mr. Volk said. He declined to elaborate.
Treadco accounted for approximately 20-25 percent of Oliver's tread rubber sales, though Mr. Volk said Treadco is not Oliver's largest customer.
Oliver has supplied Treadco with retreading equipment and materials since 1995, when Bandag Inc. dropped Treadco as a retread franchisee because of Treadco's use of competing retread processes.
Mr. Volk said Treadco's decision to join with Goodyear reflects current consolidation trends in the retread industry and wasn't a complete surprise.
"Oliver and Treadco enjoyed a good relationship for the past five years, and I believe it was mutually beneficial," Mr. Volk said. "Obviously, we're disappointed by the announcement, but with the increasing changing dynamics in the marketplace, it wasn't entirely unexpected."