ERJ staff report (LMH)
London - Westlake Tyres took part in the recent Commercial Vehicle Show for the first time, showing a range of products in its truck and bus radials portfolio. Among the personnel in attendance was Mr. Johnson Su, from the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. (ZC Rubber), the manufacturers of Westlake tyres.
Su is responsible for the importation of all raw materials used in the production of tyres and also for all export sales of the finished product. His career with Hangzhou Zhongce spans more than 30 years.
Hangzhou Zhongce and Eskay Tyres (the distributor for a number of European countries for the Westlake brand) used the period before and during the CV show to meet with a host of European distributors to discuss what they and their customers are looking for in terms of performance from their tyres.
Su noted that the best way to find out what are the requirements of the differing markets is to ask those who sell the tyres and also the end users. This way the factory/distributor can produce a range tailor-made for a particular region.
For example, he said that patterns can vary considerably, with European operators now used to axle- and application-specific patterns and construction to maximise performance and reduce costs. Conversely, in South East Asia, these sophisticated patterns are less important, but what the operators do require is a more robust tyre to cope with the rougher conditions.
Of course, as well as the different road conditions, climates etc., there are some artificially imposed differences, such as REACH-compliance legislation and the introduction of tyre labelling, Westlake noted in a 22 May news release.
Su pointed out that Westlake tyres are already REACH-compliant and, when it comes to labelling, he suggested that this could provide a great marketing opportunity.
ZC Rubber employs 25 000 people in nine factories and produces around 11 million TBR tyres a year, of which two million went for export. The company has experienced rapid growth in recent years and has invested millions of Euros in the latest manufacturing and quality control equipment, Westlake said.
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Article from Westlake Tyres