Polish Firm Buys Colway Brand
The Colway brand and equipment owned by County Durham-based C-Tyres have been bought by Polish retread company, Mark Gum. No details of how much Mark Gum paid for the company have been made available. According to local news reports, equipment from the factory on the Littleburn Industrial Estate will be now be transported to Poland. C-Tyres managing director Gary Oliver had previously spoken of his hope that a British company would take ownership of the assets, allowing tyre production to start up again from within C-Tyres leased premises in Langley Moor.
“There were several UK people that I know were interested and I was hoping there was a chance we could get things back up and running here, but that hasn’t happened. Colway tyres will no longer be made in the UK, which is very disappointing,” Gary Oliver commented.
C-Tyres ran in to difficulties at the end of 2007 when the company’s landlord served it with a forfeiture notice, following a disagreement over rent. The firm closed its doors with the loss of 100 jobs in October and was placed into administration on 1 November by Sunderland firm Tenon Recovery.
Mark Gum is a leading retreader in Poland, where manufacturing and labour costs are significantly lower than they are in the UK. Gary Oliver formed C-Tyres with finance director Peter Morris more than six years ago, after buying the assets of Colway Tyres and its sister company, Motorway Retreads. In January 2002 the company was turning over £3 million annually. Prior to entering administration, the management expected C-Tyres’ turnover to reach £6 million turnover and “an operating profit.” In its efforts to make the business work, C-Tyres concentrated on niche products increased its product range, adding truck retreads and award-winning innovations such as run-flat retreads and UHP Y-rated retreads.