BRUSSELS, Belgium — Bridgestone Corp. is adding a mold-cure option, dubbed "Bandag Hotread," to the portfolio of retreading processes its licensed retread customers in Europe can offer.
The development is a change of pace/direction for Bandag, considered the pioneer in the precured retreading process and which, until now, had offered only precured processes/products.
Bridgestone said Bandag Hotread products are distinguished from precured retreads by distinctive sidewall designs, a feature made possible by the mold-curing process.
David Almazán, commercial business unit director for North Region at Bridgestone EMIA, said: "Retreads currently represent 30% of the total commercial tire market (in Europe). In response to market demand, we are now offering a complete range of retread solutions by adding Bandag Hotread to our European portfolio.
"With the Bandag retread full offering, our fleet customers continue to benefit from a personalized, fast and localized solutions delivered to their doorstep through our franchisee dealer network, which has some 80 locations throughout Europe."
Bridgestone noted that retreading helps fleets reduce their environmental footprint, "by managing the future scarcity of raw materials and ensuring efficient use of key resources."
Bridgestone Americas Inc. said it has no current plans to introduce the Hotread process to the Bandag business profile in North America, stating that the " Hotread process more specifically meets the existing needs of the retread market in Europe, where demand differs in areas such as tire size and fleet vocation."
The company claims a market share of over 50% of the North American market for commercial truck/bus retreads, and recently broke ground on a $60 million expansion of a tread rubber plant in Abilene, Texas, to keep pace with growing demand.