Pirelli offers a “professional full solution tailored to individual requirements”

According to Manfred Zoni, Central Europe sales and marketing director for Pirelli’s truck business, as of next year the tyre maker will significantly enlarge the Novatread range and enter additional key markets

T&A interviews Manfred Zoni about Novatread mould cure retreading

This year Pirelli initiated a mould cure retreading pilot project under the “Novatread” brand name. According to the Italian firm, in the long-term this product will be introduced throughout Europe and together with its new tyres will represent a full-portfolio, single-source solution. In an interview with Tyres & Accessories, Manfred Zoni, Central Europe sales and marketing director for Pirelli’s truck business, expounded on the strategic approach Pirelli is pursuing with its mould cure retreading and how this product offer fits together with its decentralised Novateck pre-cure retreading, which is carried out by certified partners.

Tyres & Accessories:
What fundamental significance does retreading have for the Pirelli Group?

Manfred Zoni:
The issue of retreading is not just highly significant to us in light of its environmental impact. It represents an additional, important product and service offer that makes a very effective contribution to extending the life of our tyres and increasing our customers’ potential savings.

Tyres & Accessories:
Pirelli has now begun to produce its own Novatread mould cure retreads. What strategic motivations stand behind this decision?

Manfred Zoni:
Our aim is to demonstrate the outstanding retreadability of our :01 tyre series, to confirm the significant increase in longevity and excellent rolling resistance performance. Retreading is now strongly linked to our new tyre business as our end customers prefer to work with just a handful of select suppliers that can offer a suitable, professional full solution tailored to individual requirements.

Tyres & Accessories:
How in this respect will you delineate between mould cure and pre-cure retreading?

Manfred Zoni:
Mould cure retreading will be marketed directly by Pirelli and pre-cure retreading offered by our local certified partners.

Tyres & Accessories:
Is Europe the first and sole market where Pirelli has commenced mould cure retreading?

Manfred Zoni:
Yes, at present Europe is the only market.

Tyres & Accessories:
Why is Pirelli only now beginning to offer a corresponding mould cure retreading line, when others have produced mould cure retreads in their own plants for some time now?

Manfred Zoni:
Because we’re convinced that we can now offer the optimal products. The market sets high demands and requires qualitatively high-value solutions. We carry environmental responsibility, therefore we’ve developed a technology that today allows us to perfectly fulfill various requirements with a recognised retreadability.

Tyres & Accessories:
Where are the casings you use typically sourced and which customers receive the mould cure retreads? And do you already retread customer own casings?

Manfred Zoni:
Most casings are sourced from the end consumers that we serve together with our partners from the tyre trade and our certified Novateck partners. Mould cure retreading is carried out by our partner Marangoni. Only the newest-generation Pirelli casings, the :01 series, are used. These contain the most modern Pirelli technologies. At present the COC model is not yet available, and due to a shortage of some casing sizes would also be difficult to implement. We work with the COC model in pre-cure retreading together with our most important local certified partners.

Tyres & Accessories:
We learned at Reifen Essen that Novatread mould cure retreading is a pilot scheme. Can you share some further details about this project?

Manfred Zoni:
The project started this year in the Italian market, utilising the three most important sizes. From next year we will significantly enlarge the product range and enter further important markets, particularly the German market.

Tyres & Accessories:
Do compounds and treads correspond with the equivalent new tyre?

Manfred Zoni:
In order to achieve performance with our retreads that is on par with our new products, the treads and compounds used are totally comparable with the new tyre product range. As already mentioned, Novatread is produced in Italy by our partner Marangoni, typically only with current-generation Pirelli casings.

Tyres & Accessories:
Did production in one of your own factories also come into question?

Manfred Zoni:
Pirelli has now been involved in this project for a few years now, and to-date a corresponding high level of work and know-how has been invested. One overriding goal has been to improve casing quality, and today these are very highly rated in the market. We never planned to carry out production ourselves as we want to develop in this area together with our local certified partners.

Tyres & Accessories:
What is the long-term outlook for the current project?

Manfred Zoni:
We’re taking one step after the other. Our professional services, both pre-cure and mould cure retreading, should be sustainable and implemented in the market at a high level. Our market significance today has enabled us to successfully place these elements and services so that they can strengthen and extend our market position.

Tyres & Accessories:
What effect does the Novatread project have on Novateck pre-cure retreading? Where do the differences lie?

Manfred Zoni:
The main difference is that Novateck is produced by our local certified partners and provides them with the flexibility, through an attractive price, high quality and sustainability for all distribution channels, to create individual and very high-performing product offers. With Novateck, we offer via our partners and their processes a service to end consumers that guarantees the highest quality retreading using pre-cured treads. In contrast, Pirelli will sell Novatread to fleets directly and through its partners, offering 100 per cent Pirelli :01 series products. In this sense, the two product areas run parallel to each other.

Tyres & Accessories:
How many Novateck production partners are there and how many truck tyres do they retread each year?

Manfred Zoni:
Currently we work together with around 50 partners across the EU.

Tyres & Accessories:
Does this network suffice?

Manfred Zoni:
In addition to the Pneumobil operations we have in Germany we work with additional partners, so-called certified local Novateck retreaders. We also plan to markedly enlarge our network, and in future successfully position our products and services together with our partners.

Tyres & Accessories:
Does Marangoni also produce the Novateck treads for global use?

Manfred Zoni:
Marangoni is our partner for all markets in which we market Novateck, in addition to Europe this includes the Africa, China, Middle East and South America regions.

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