BIRMINGHAM, England (Sept. 26, 2014) — Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd. is planning to set up a retreading plant in the U.S., most likely in the Southeast, to help it increase its competitiveness throughout the Americas.
“This new retreading facility, which will also distribute new tires, will position us to expand our market share on several popular aircraft, including the Boeing 737NG,” said Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Chairman Ian Edmondson.
“Overseas expansion has been key to the company's recent success. We now export more than 80 percent of the products we make in Birmingham and our strategy of offering local tire distribution and retreading has already proven itself successful in Asia Pacific,” Mr. Edmondson added.
The company is planning to open the plant by early 2016 and is evaluating potential sites in the U.S. Southeast. It did not elaborate on the expected size of the operation.
A key goal, the company said, is to use the base to increase its ability to service airlines flying the narrow and wide-bodied jet airliners as well as military aircraft.
Birmingham-based Dunlop already supports a number of U.S.-based airlines, including operators of regional jets and turboprops including the Bombardier Dash 8 series and Embraer E-Jets through its relationships with independent distribution and retreading partners in the Americas.
The company did not say how this development will change those relationships.
In 2012 Dunlop Aircraft struck a deal with Houston-based Triplett Aerospace to stock and distribute tires for narrow- and wide-bodied aircraft, and in 2011 it added Desser Tire & Rubber Co. Inc. of Montebello, Calif., as a distributor of its tires for the Americas, joining Wilkerson Co. Inc. of Crewe, Va., in that distinction.
Customers include Compass Airlines, which operates 42 E-Jets for Delta Connection, and Republic Airlines, which operates more than 150 Dunlop-equipped E-Jets on behalf of America Eagle, United Express and US Airways Express.
Republic recently ordered 50 more aircraft, Dunlop said, which will take its total E-Jet fleet to 223 by 2017.
Dunlop Aircraft opened a joint venture tire distribution and retreading facility in China in 2009—Dunlop Taikoo (Jinjiang) Aircraft Tyres Co.—where it employs nearly 60 and supports airlines across Asia Pacific including Air Nelson, ANA, China Express, Japan Air Commuter, Mandarin Airlines, QantasLink and SpiceJet.