Essen, Germany – The increasing burden of EU regulation and high cost structure are making it difficult to maintain a major tire-manufacturing base in Europe, Christian Koetz, president of the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA) warned in a keynote address at the Future Tire Conference 2016 in Essen.
“ETRMA aims to make sure that the European tire industry remains a significant manufacturing industry, which is not so easy in the current cost-structure and regulatory [environment], Koetz said at the 24 May opening the conference organised by ERJ, alongside the Reifen tire trade show.
“Before the European Commission creates new regulations and new requirements on our products we need to have a proper surveillance and enforcement system. We believe this is essential to creating a fair and level playing field,” said Koetz, who is also an executive at Continental.
All tires produced in Europe and exported around the world are constantly surveyed and checked for conformity to local standards and regulations, the ETRMA leader noted.
“We have to make sure we have the same system in Europe, which is currently not the case,” he told Future Tire delegates.
Koetz did, though, point to “some promising first steps” with the recently launched Prosafe initiative to improve monitoring and enforcement in the EU tire market.
The ETRMA president went on to say that another “important goal was to ensure tires made in Europe have access to overseas markets without technical trade barriers in global markets.”