TUCSON, Ariz. — Guatemalan tire distributor and retreader Vifrio Guatamala has opened a retreading business in Panama dedicated to producing OTR retreads to serve the mining and construction industries in that country.
The new company, called Panama Recaps, is set up to retread OTR radials in 25- to 49-inch rim diameters, according to Rene Suarez Mayen, general manager.
Vifrio has contracted Germany's Rösler Tyre Innovators G.m.b.H. & Co. K.G. to help engineer the plant and provide training and rubber technology, Mr. Mayen told Tire Business in an interview at the recent Tire Industry Association OTR Tire Conference in Tucson.
The new plant is designed to produce about 80 retreads a month in the start-up phase. The size of the investment was not disclosed.
Vifrio Guatemala was founded in 1947 by Mr. Mayen's grandfather, starting with a Pemex gas station in Quetzaltenang, Guatemala. He added auto parts and started distributing Mohawk-brand tires, the brand Pemex carried at that time.
The grandfather heard about the Bandag retreading process, Mr. Mayen said, and went to visit Bandag founder Roy Carver. As a result, he was granted the first Bandag license outside of the U.S. It started in 1956 in Guatemala City.