“Good Alternative to Vehicle Breakdown“
Its not just new tyre manufacturers and retreaders that are benefiting from booming OTR tyre sales. Businesses such as Stahlgruber’s Tip Top division have benefited from the recent increase in demand. The demand for tyre repair systems has multiplied over the last year, export manager Maximilian Spenger says. Today it is an absolute priority for users of OTR tyres everywhere to “keep the tyres going somehow.” At Tip Top’s headquarters near Munich those in charge are reacting quite calmly to the current situation because the market changes did not go unforeseen.
Stahlgruber’s Tip Top business unit is proud to point out that tyre repair systems such as the “Thermopress” were sold to almost every mine on the planet before the latest boom even started. However, the demand for these systems has multiplied over the last year because of the run that has taken place, says Maximilian Spenger. At the same time he admits that not all tyre repair systems have developed as well as those that are used with earthmover tyres. During the course of last year, Tip Top increased its global OTR technical service team to a total of 26 members.
Customers that ordered OTR tyre repair systems as well as tyre repair batches at Tip Top Automotive didn’t have to wait longer than usual, the company’s export manager told Tyres & Accessories. Growing demand had been expected at the Munich headquarters and so the necessary measures had already been taken in order to increase production capacities and make sure that raw materials and components are delivered on time. “We have prepared our reaction in a systematic and good way,” the company explains. Nevertheless there were panic reactions during last year leading to surplus stockpiling and excess orders on the customer side. There was even talk of a “demand bubble.”
It was indeed advantageous that Tip Top’s Automotive business unit was able to adapt its own production capacities to the current situation without major delays. Short-term reaction in this respect was possible because there weren’t any larger investments that would have been necessary in order to increase the output of tyre repair systems or repair batches. This is in stark contrast with new OTR tyre industry.
Compared to the production of an earthmover tyre the manufacturing process of even an armoured tank appears “low-tech and boring,” Tip Top’s export manager comments on the complex OTR tyre production process. Thus the German company was capable of taking benefit from shorter response times as well as less efforts involved in reacting to market changes.
In Munich the current situation is regarded as an excellent opportunity to present the advantages of OTR tyre repairing even to the very last potential customer. Tip Top Automotive offered a “good alternative to complete vehicle breakdown,” Maximilian Spenger explains. Even old tyres that have been put aside and not been used in years can be repaired and put into operation again, for at least some hundred hours.
According to Tip Top Automotive, even the strong increase in demand over the last year has not led to a situation where prices for tyre repair systems or repair batches have been raised; in fact nobody wanted to benefit from the customers’ difficult circumstances, the export manager adds. However, because all exports are made on a euro basis, some products have experienced a small price increases due to the deterioration of the exchange rate with the US-dollar. Even the higher raw material prices that Stahlgruber had to pay have not been transferred to the customers.