Chinese tyre makers developing closer links with Europe after ITMA/CRIA meeting
Chinese tyre manufacturers are reportedly boosting their efforts to develop closer links with European markets after a recent meeting between the China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) and Europe’s Imported Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA). The first of several planned meetings between the two organisations was held at the request of CRIA who are investigating opportunities on behalf of their 1,200 members about how they can deepen their engagement within Europe.
“We were delighted to host the delegation from China for some very positive and wide ranging discussions,” comments Alfred Graham, president, ITMA. “Europe has many pieces of incredibly complex tyre legislation and environmental regulations so it is essential that non-EU manufacturers looking to trade in the region can do so in a fully informed manner. This initial meeting was an ideal platform for us to commence discussions about how we can help facilitate this.”
According to the association, the meeting comes at a time when Chinese imported tyres into Europe reached 53 million units in 2011.
CRIA was established in 1985 and currently has 13 associated branches dedicated to specific areas including tyres, carbon black and moulding equipment. The organisation seeks to provide a wide range of advice and support for its members covering aspects such as foreign trade negotiation, technical innovation and communications, energy conservation and emissions reduction.
Meanwhile, such is the combination of market opportunities and legislative requirements within Europe that membership of ITMA is also at an all-time high. ITMA was established more than 30 years ago when imported tyre brands started to gain a significant share of the UK and mainland European replacement market. It remains the only trade association in Europe to exclusively represent the interests of non –EU based tyre manufacturers and currently represents more than 30 tyre brands from its member companies.
“This year we have already welcomed on board several new tyre manufacturer members from China who have immediately benefitted considerably from our technical and legislative knowledge. As we continue to strengthen our involvement with Europe’s policy makers, our members are likely to see even greater access to information and benefits of membership. We hope this will only increase our attractiveness to some of the other Chinese manufacturers who we have now started discussions with,” concluded Graham.
ITMA also has a technical working group, which advises and assists all members on a wide range of technical issues. The association is a founder member of the UK’s Tyre Industry Federation.