Eurotire Manufacturer Goes European
However, the company already has almost 50 years of history because it was built on the remainders of a renowned Soviet Union research institute, the so-called “Ukrainian Institute of Large Diameter Tyres“. This institute was committed to fundamental research work and mostly developed heavy-duty truck and OTR tyres for the Soviet and later on the Russian army. Even today, Eurotire’s R&D department in Dnipropetrovsk is staffed with highly decorated scientists and engineers that know how to develop a good quality OTR tyre, says Shimon Laber, vice president responsible for business development.
When the state-owned research institute was privatised in 2001, Eurotire was founded. Since then, Eurotire has invested $50 million into the modernisation of the production facility. Today, the company also operates its own natural rubber plantation in Vietnam. This was taken over in the aftermath of the break-up of the Soviet Union. The plantation is about 1,000 hectares in size and from there the OTR tyre manufacturer Eurotire receives most of its natural rubber. But natural rubber is not only harvested in Vietnam but it is also processed there, adds Rich Schuelke, vice president for global sales. The Ukrainian-American company produces about 20,000 heavy OTR tyres every year in its facilities most of which are sold to customers in the USA although Eurotire also supplies some customers in Western Europe, explains Shimon Laber in an interview with Tyres & Accessories.
However, the young business development manager strongly focuses European markets for the company’s future activities because this is where manufacturers of OTR tyres make good margins these – delivering tyres into Europe where supply is inadequate. Until now Eurotire has not done too much business in Europe, which is why the OTR tyre experts from the Ukraine have kept under the radar. But this is about to change in the near future, Shimon Laber says. He points out that during the coming weeks there will be an important announcement regarding the construction of another OTR tyre factory. So far, details on this new plant are kept secret although the vice president for business development says:
“Our investment is very closely linked to the EU market.” Eurotire will push into the European market with its brand as soon as the new production capacity is in operation. The current Eurotire catalogue features six different products for different applications. Among these there are also radial OTR tyres in 29.5 R25. The new showpiece in Eurotire’s portfolio however is a pattern called “Euro 40 Standard” which is produced in 40.00-57 with a ply-rating 68. Developing this bias OTR tyre has cost about $27 million, the company says. Eurotire will continue the production of bias OTR tyres, Shimon Laber confirms in an interview with Tyres & Accessories, because there are several applications where bias OTR tyres are superior to radial tyres.