STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Trelleborg Wheel Systems S.p.A. is expanding the range of OTR tires it produces into the earthmoving sector, a strategic move that eventually could result in capacity expansions at the firm's plants in North America and Asia.
The OTR move — along with plans to expand the firm's motorcycle tire portfolio — were key takeaways from a Capital Markets Day presentation last week by Paulo Pompei, president of Trelleborg Wheel since March 2017.
In the presentation, Mr. Pompei stressed Trelleborg's recent move into all-steel radial tires for earthmoving applications — suitable for open pits and quarries, underground mines, as well as general construction — as a key strategic decision to expand his firm's presence in this sector from regional to global.
Trelleborg's first new product line for this sector is the EMR (earth moving radial) series introduced earlier this year at the Intermat construction/infrastructure exposition in Paris.
Mr. Pompei did not spell out Trelleborg's sales expectations for the new market segment, but said the global market for such tires is valued at close to $3.7 billion — $2.5 billion in the premium sector where the Trelleborg brand competes and $1.1 billion in the lower tier markets, where the Mitas brand competes.
To expedite the move into the radial earthmover tire sector, Trelleborg is upgrading and expanding capacity at its tire plant in Otrokovice, Czech Republic, which it took over in mid-2016 as part of its acquisition of Czech rubber producer CGS Holding A.S., parent of tire maker Mitas A.S.
Trelleborg declined to provide specifics on the Otrokovice expansion, other than to say it will be completed in 2020 and covers "high-end production" of radial agricultural tires and OTR tires. The Swedish company also is extending its R&D testing center devoted to this segment.