Truck Tyre Wholesalers Look to Thailand and Vietnam


It is now over a year since import tariffs, in some cases up to £60 per tyre, were imposed by the EU on truck tyres manufactured in China, and it would be completely correct to state that the development has ‘rocked’ the UK and European TBR tyre market.

Growing Interest in Alternative Supply Sources

With the ‘anti-dumping’ measure resulting in a significant decline in the sale of cheap Chinese tyres, it has led to a slow but steady resurgence in the demand for truck retreads whilst many wholesalers and distributors in the UK and across Europe have virtually stopped the TBR side of their operations.

So, when Commercial Tyre Business (CTB) attended the Autopromotec Show in Bologna in May it seemed like the perfect opportunity to chat in general with the manufacturers and Contract suppliers who offer truck tyres as part of their global product portfolio to see how they are coping with the current situation.

Most companies that CTB approached were happy to discuss their plans to combat the current import ban, with many manufacturers openly admitting that they have struggled to locate a suitable alternative production plant outside of China. The most popular countries that have been targeted are Thailand and Vietnam, although on several occasions CTB were informed that the process of locating a suitable manufacturing facility in these countries was a long and complex task.

When speaking to visiting and exhibiting wholesalers and distributors at the show, the general impression was that they have concentrated on their existing major A brands as a selling source whilst they look at sourcing and establishing a new (non-Chinese) brand for second tier and budget TBR tyres.

It seems the clear favourite location for new manufacturing facilities is Thailand which is currently the source of 37 per cent of the world’s new raw rubber supply, and this dramatic shift in interest is being supported by the Thai government, who are making high level investments in the tyre market structure to meet this development.

There is no doubt that the Thai government is currently doing everything it can to make the country more attractive for tyre business expansion and in particular upgrade the country’s rubber industry to meet the increased demand.

About the author

David is the Owner and Publisher of Commercial Tyre Business. With over 30 years' experience as a specialist tyre industry journalist, he first entered the tyre industry in 1987 as Editor of Tyre & Accessories. He was Editor of Tyre Trade News between 1993-96 before establishing Retreading Business in 1997. In 2004 he acquired the Malaysian tyre magazine The Tyreman, before establishing Tyre & Rubber Recycling in 2009. In addition to his publishing ventures, he was also Director of the Retread Manufacturers' Association between 2004 and 2014.


Phone: (44) 1270 668 718

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