While Vaculug will handle the retreading of Hankook casings, Hankook Europe will retain the sales/distribution responsibility for the product throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, as it does throughout the rest of Europe.
"Our new partnership with Vaculug will support our mission to offer attractive and sustainable products," Guy Heywood, vice president marketing, truck/bus tires, Hankook Tire Europe, said. "This new agreement also ensures maximum value for our fleet customers."
The Hankook SmartLife Solutions concept demonstrates the advantages of a hot retreading for fleet companies, Hankook said, and ties into the company's commercial sector business strategy for Europe, which envisions five stages of life: new tire; regrooved new tire; Alphatread remoulded tire; and regrooved Alphatread retread.
This concept provides fleet companies "significant" economic benefits, Hankook said, claiming that Alphatread retreads deliver up to 100% of the mileage achieved with a new tire and equivalent performance for around 60% of the cost.
In addition, Hankook builds 5 to 9 mm of additional base rubber under the tread, which can deliver up to 25% more mileage after regrooving.
Employing the regrooving and retreading process to its fullest can increase the service life of a new tire by up to 250%, Hankook said, while also offering the environmental benefit of saving up to 70% of the raw materials needed to make a new tire.
Hankook controls the sale of all Alphatread products across Europe, selling these products primarily into fleet accounts to help them reduce the total cost of ownership.
Vaculug uses Alphatread products on its own fleet to reduce costs, Hankook said, and the new partners are working together in to grow the their fleet business throughout the United Kingdom.
Hankook's other Alphatread partners are in France (Soreval), Italy (BR Pneumatici S.p.A. ) and Spain (Grupo Soledad ).
In Germany, Hankook produces retreads at the factory of Reifen Mueller in Hammelburg-Westheim, Germany. Hankook acquired Reifen Mueller — a wholesale and retail tire distributor with 44 locations throughout Germany — in 2018.
Hankook sources tread rubber for the Alphatread shops from an unidentified, approved supplier.