Green restart: Retreaded tyres as a decarbonisation aide
Despite the fact that the UK was in the middle of lockdown, Michelin Tyre Plc’s ultra-modern retread manufacturing operation resumed production at the end of April. In fact, according to the company, there were only two reasons that the Campbell Road, Stoke-on-Trent site paused manufacturing at all: because the coronavirus-related closures coincided with a pre-planned maintenance stoppage; and because – again due to Covid-19 – there was trouble securing deliveries of the right raw materials from the continent prior to April (see “Michelin Stoke up-and-running, looking forward to ‘steady market growth’” for Michelin UK factory manager Francois Levert’s view on how things have progressed after reopening). Therefore, Michelin UK’s retread manufacturing operation only actually endured a three-week factory shutdown. The neighbouring UK headquarters opened in mid-July and so now its truck tyre and retreading business is putting the focus on success in the new normal. This began with a communications drive that has seen the manufacturer promote the ecological benefits of retreads. Tyres & Accessories spoke with Michelin Plc managing director Chris Smith in order to find out more.