By David Shaw, ERJ staff
Brussels -- Jorge Crespo, European General Manager for Infinity Tyres has said EU rules on tyre labeling could be seen as trade protectionism. Speaking at ERJ's conference on tyre labeling and marketing in Brussels earlier this month, Crespo said, â€œIt is really just an increased trade barrier [designed] to prevent the growth of economy brands in Europe.â€œ
In response to questions from the floor, Crespo said this was a personal opinion and further agreed that the labeling rules were likely to be beneficial to imported tyre manufacturers.
He continued, â€œI believe that the tyre labels will help the economy brands to increase their presence in the European sphere. And perhaps - and this is more important - to increase their pricing.â€
He explained, â€œif you have economy tyres at C-C and premium tyres at C-C, then it becomes difficult to justify a premium price.â€ He continued with a rhetorical question, â€œSo with the performance showing minimal differential , how will the buyers make their decision? Will it be on the old suggestion of better quality from the legacy brands, or will it be on the objective data on the label? â€œ
Infinity issued a press release on 25 Oct quoting Crespo saying, â€œCompliance has been seen, in the case of many Chinese brands, as something of a challenge to them and one which they have worked very hard to achieve. The major investment in technology and R&D which these tyre makers have undertaken in order to, not just comply, but even welcome the introduction of Europe's laws, is nothing to be laughed at. Their efforts and dedication is something which consumers ought to be grateful forâ€.
Infinity Tyres is a brand name of the Al Dobowi Group based in the United Arab Emirates. The company acts as marketing and distribution agent for a range of automotive-related products, including tyres. The tyres sold under the Infinity brand are made in China by various companies, including Shandong Linglong and Hangzhou Zhongce.
More on this story in the next issue of ERJ
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Press release from Infinity tyres