Back in REACH – Zafco responds to ETRMA result
Brand representatives report that since its launch in 2005, Zeetex has developed a strong reputation for quality assurance, safety and compliance with environmental requirements, and holds an impressive range of certifications. However, manufacturing body ETRMA found at least one Zeetex branded tyre that was non-REACH compliant was found on the European market in March this year. However, speaking in a recent interview with Tyres & Accessories, the global product manager of Zeetex at Zafco, Zafar Jafri, explained explained the company’s perspective on this issue: “ETRMA found a so-called ‘dirty’ tyre. At that time we were running two production lines (one for international sales and one for Europe).” Explaining that the tyre question was certainly not intended for the European market, Jafri continued by pointing out that the mishandling that led to the aforementioned tyre’s arrival in the European Union could only have come as a result of the mishandling at the factory’s warehouse, similarly unintentional mishandling at Zafco’s distribution centre or via grey-imports.
Of course is it virtually impossible to trace exactly what happened in this incident, but the company has taken clear steps to make sure such a situation does not occur again. Firstly the company has decided not to distribute the ZT101 in the EU anymore, replacing this with a new tyre (the ZT1000), which has been designed with Reach legislation and tyre labelling in mind. In addition tyres will regularly be sent to the TARRC test facility in the UK in a bid to weed out the possibility of any future non-compliance. And finally Zafco’s Zeetex quality control representatives have reportedly told their manufacturing base to produce only compliant tyres – and instruction that took effect in June 2011, just a couple of months after ETRMA’s publication.
When Tyres & Accessories spoke with Jafri at the end of 2011, the new tyres were expected to arrive on the European market by the end of the first quarter 2012. T&A understands that the ZT1000 will be officially launched at some point before this. Once the products are flowing into the European markets, the company is aiming to continue the previous relationships with customers Zeetex had under its former distributor in Germany, France, UK and Italy.
When it comes to the new global perspective the company has gained with this brands, Zafco expects to generate 19 per cent of its sales in the Middle East, 23 per cent in Asia, 22 per cent in Africa, 21 per cent in the Americas, 5 per cent in Australia and 10 per cent in Europe. The latter figure may currently represent a relatively small part of the Zafco’s vision for Zeetex, but the aim is to increase this to 21 per cent by 2012. With this in mind, Zafco is aiming for 70 per cent growth across the Zeetex range and geographical spread as a whole, followed by 30 per cent in subsequent years.