This is a virgin market for Bandag.
General Retread is a major Saudi tyre distributor with international activities in Dubai and Nigeria. The company also officially represents Pirelli in Saudi Arabia, specialising in OTR tyre sales and repairs and employs 150 people.
"Tyre retreading is not yet a widespread concept in this country," says Jasjeev S. Kandhari. "There are plenty of large fleets all around us, mainly doing long haul transport, and all of them are eager to keep operating costs down. With a retread ratio as low as one per cent, it is clear that quality tyre retreading has not been an option up to now. Not an option, but a great opportunity, which we seized! The future looks very promising!"
Bandag retreading now completes General Retread’s "cradle to grave" tyre service by inserting one or more tyre lives. "Bandag maintains tyre reliability and performance while doubling or tripling the lifespan and the mileage of truck tyres," says Kandhari. "No tyre service is really complete if you do not offer this possibility to fleets."
The new Bandag shop in Al Khobar is already operational and employs 10 highly skilled and fully trained retreading specialists. The shop is equipped with a Bandag 8112E buffer, a Bandag 9001 tyre builder and a NDI 357 tyre analyser. The premises will be inaugurated on Apr. 2.
General Retread plans to offer Bandag retreading throughout the Kingdom, which might become quite a challenge with a single shop. "We plan to reach a 15% market share in three years time," announces Kandhari. "Achieving that objective will probably require the opening of three additional Bandag shops in the same period of time. This should bring us closer to the main concentration of large fleets in the country."
The company is also an OTR tyre specialist. In this specific area, General Retread has developed a full range of repair, alignment, tyre audit and fleet inspection. General Retread will approach the market with the Bandag Aspects programme, a powerful fleet auditing system that highlights possible areas of improvement in fleet tyre management and offers solutions to reduce tyre operating costs.