It was back in the early days of 2002 when Gary Oliver and Peter Morris formed the company called C-Tyres and purchased the assets of retreaders Colway and Motorway from the Official Receiver. Since then, the demise of car tyre retreading in the UK has been well documented and, it has to be said, one or two quizzical eyebrows were raised when Oliver and Morris announced that C-Tyres would be making retreads.
At the end of January the Colway brand and equipment owned by County Durham-based C-Tyres was bought by Polish retread company, Mark Gum. No details of how much Mark Gum paid were made available. C-Tyres managing director Gary Oliver had previously spoken of his hope that a British company would take ownership of the assets, allowing tyre production to start up again from within C-Tyres leased premises in Langley Moor.
Whichever way you look at it 2005 was a significant year for Sapphire Energy Recovery. Not only the did the company successfully dispose of more than 100,000 tonnes of tyres, but it markedly increased industry awareness thanks to a high-profile (putting it mildly) advertising campaign. But neither achievement has gone unnoticed as the 2006 TAFF award nominations (see page 38) recognise the company on both counts. Furthermore Sapphire expects to process its 50 millionth tyre in the coming months, something that is particularly impressive when you consider that the company was only founded in 2000.
Chinese Retreading Market Presents World of Opportunity
While much has been made about the enormous potential of the emerging Chinese tyre market, the opportunities go further than this alone. For every tyre that is produced and used in the People’s Republic there is a potential money-making opportunity for the retreading and collection aspects of the tyre business.
It is not overstating the situation to say there is huge potential for retreading in China. Currently around 265 million tyres are produced in China each year, across all segments. At the same time the domestic market’s 3 million vehicles currently demand 130 million tyres annually, according to a Hong Kong Trade Development Council report.
Bridgestone UK Ltd has acquired Bulldog Remoulds (Holdings) Ltd, the companies have announced in a joint statement. The deal is said to have been the subject of discussion for “some time.” Both parties agreed that the pricetag attached to the purchase would remain “commercially confidential.”
The purchase took effect on 29 April and will not affect existing trading arrangements with Bulldog customers and suppliers, the companies have confirmed. Bridgestone says the acquisition will strengthen its long-term capability to look after and expand its Truck Fleet customers within the UK.