Kraiburg Austria working to secure goods transport
The materials supplier has adjusted to the challenges of coronavirus
The coronavirus crisis represents a challenge for almost all industries and markets in Europe and around the world. But tyres are system-relevant products that ensure, amongst other things, the uninterrupted transportation of goods and supply chain stability. In doing so, they contribute to securing the population’s basic requirements. Kraiburg Austria has adapted to the challenges associated with corona, aiming to guarantee all its partners receive the quality pre-cure and mould cure materials they require on time and with the expected high level of service. “Protecting our workforce’s health is of course top priority,” the company emphasises; it meticulously complies with an extensive catalogue of measures. “We have adapted our current production capacities to the present situation,” shares Stefan Mayrhofer, managing director of Kraiburg Austria. “But we are still giving retreaders our best possible support to meet their respective demand or replenish their stocks.”
Levels of demand vary considerably across the different regions of Europe, depending upon the extent of the crisis. “Whilst we see significant declines in heavily-stricken Southern Europe, Northern and Central Europe seems to be getting through the crisis better at the moment,” says sales director Holger Düx. The good news is that a total collapse hasn’t been reported anywhere so far. “Luckily, we were able to resolve uncertainties regarding the delivery situation, which worried our customers considerably in the beginning.” What proved decisive here was that freight transport has continued across Europe largely without restrictions.
Kraiburg Austria anticipates that demand for high quality tyres will increase again in the coming months and that delivery bottlenecks for new tyres will arise, a knock-on effect following temporary production shutdowns at factories in Europe and Asia. “Here we see an opportunity for premium retreading to score points in the current scenario with availability and deliverability. We all remember 2011,when this was exactly the case,” says Stefan Mayrhofer. “We view the ability to supply our customers in a timely manner as one of our central tasks in the current situation.”
Course for 2020 set in good time
Kraiburg Austria is pleased it already took some forward-looking decisions last year, as the company’s results for 2019 didn’t fully meet its expectations. The retreading specialist recorded losses, particularly in its business with compounds for new tyre applications. The pre-cure and mould cure retreading business unit also witnessed a slight decline. “Yet through our active measures we were able to optimally counteract the challenging market situation,” comments Mayrhofer. Sales in 2019 were largely generated with treads from the K_base, K_plus and K_tech ranges. The company even managed to expand its traditionally strong market position in Central and Eastern Europe. Irrespective of this, gains in other sales areas made a positive contribution to the operating result, for example through the 2018-initiated reorganisation of distribution processes within the Ergolastec business unit. It also further developed the redesigned ‘Recom’ business model, which centres on the direct sale of premium mould cure retreads to end users. Kraiburg Austria responded individually to differing requirements in the target markets of the Czech Republic, Austria and Spain, and in 2019 was able to achieve a steady increase in volumes and customer numbers.
Kraiburg Austria is “focused more than ever” upon the current financial year. The firm is therefore keen to further expand already-initiated activities that have shown promise. For example, it plans to introduce an easy to use tyre pressure monitoring system that records all relevant tyre-related data in a database, by doing contributing significantly to safety and cost savings for the user. This TPMS system, which goes by the name ‘Tylogic’, is currently in the test phase and will reach the market once “necessary fine tuning has been completed.” At the same time, the company is working on a comprehensive environmental strategy that deals with topics such as reducing CO2 emissions and the circular economy. “We will present our measures as soon as relevant results are available,” adds Mayrhofer. Summarising, he states: “Our primary goal this year is and remains, in addition to securing the basic requirements of all people, to support our partners, the retreading companies, as much as possible in all relevant respects as well as initiate and implement the necessary steps to further develop our facilities and dedicated team.”