Triangle adopts “quality strategy” in Europe
As markets and events have reopened during the course of 2022, Triangle has hit the road in a significant way, meeting with and communicating to existing and potential customers alike at events and exhibitions across the continent including: Tire Cologne in Germany, Autopromotec in Italy and the Hillhead OTR event in the UK. Tyres & Accessories met up with executives in Germany, Italy and on home territory in order to find out more about Triangle’s latest products and its increasingly quality-focused European strategy.
Tire Cologne versus Bologna?
On the subject of this year’s scheduling overlap between Tire Cologne and Autopromotec, Triangle Europe chief executive Corrado Moglia argued that there are neither winners nor losers in such a conflict: “Autopromotec, however, at least from the point of view of tyres, is more and more an Italian fair, with a greater presence of distributors than manufacturers.
“Tire Cologne is more focused on tyres and remains more European in scope. All major manufacturers were present, except Bridgestone, Goodyear and Yokohama; considering the post-pandemic restart, the total size of stands and pavilions was reduced compared to the previous edition, but the turnout was very good and qualified.
Shortly after the Cologne and Bologna events, European anti-Chinese-produced truck tyre tariffs were annulled. Since Triangle and Moglia personally have been a consistent voice of opposition, it is interesting to learn how the annulment is being received:
“This is still a very sensitive subject. The ruling is not sufficient to avoid the payment of duties, because there are a number of legal technicalities, which could take several months to define. Furthermore, importers who have paid millions of euros in duties still risk not being able to obtain the necessary reimbursements…stated in the ruling of the European Court of Justice.
“At this moment we still do not know whether to expect an appeal from the European Commission, which would cause a further lengthening of the times, or a downward revision of the duties. In this case the duties should subsequently be reimbursed in part.
“Then there is a further problem: by law, every importer who has paid the duties, will have to request reimbursement from the competent customs, by port of entry into the EU of the goods, with a time limit of 36 months from the date of import and, therefore, some months are no longer refundable since the first duties were paid back in 2018.
“I am personally in contact with a team of lawyers in Brussels, which has already supported CRIA, the association of the produced products, all the initialization of the procedure. I am trying to coordinate the requests of our customers and organize common action, in line with European regulations. This initiative is aimed at helping our European partners, who have continued to believe in our truck product, despite the enormous obstacles. Our goal has always been to preserve the presentation of our product in the European market, at the cost of loss of volumes, expenses of duties and sacrifices on profitability.
“In conclusion, the cancellation of the duties demonstrates the correctness of the position we have held from the beginning. However, this is a historic legal victory, at the highest European level.”
Of course, since those comments the European anti-dumping investigation has been reopened and authorities are once-again looking into the whether Chinese-produced truck tyres have been traded fairly in Europe. However, as a result of Brexit, the annulment ruling is ineffective in the UK. And therefore, the decision to adopt pre-annulment tariffs has not been changed at the time of going to press.
USA investment cancelled, what about elsewhere?
Earlier this year Triangle executives cancelled their investment in a tyre production plant in the USA. How do European executives respond to that?
“Plans for the US factory, approved in 2018, were cancelled as the investment environment has changed since then and factors such as the pandemic have contributed to a strategic overhaul of the company’s global presentation.
“Following this decision, however, interesting prospective prospects could also open in Europe, which with the growing volumes of Triangle, together with new opportunities, would justify an investment in our continent.”
In other words, the cancellation of one investment does not preclude others. And the door on European investment is apparently ajar.
Product-wise, Triangle continues to ramp up performance in car tyre ranges. To that end, 2022 has seen the company introduce five new patterns to the market: EffeXSport TH202, a new UHP product; the ReliaX TE307 touring tyre; and the SeasonX Van TA702, a new all-season tyre for light commercial vehicles. Triangle has also displayed the off-road GripX TR281 and AgileX TR292 in show environments.