This article is part of Tire Review’s 2020 Sourcebook and was shared by ZC Rubber’s Richard Li, global marketing director – international business.
What measures did you take in the wake of the pandemic?
The most important of these measures is that we provide free medical masks to every employee and require everyone to wear masks at work, whether he or she is on the factory floor or in the office.
Face masks are very useful tools to keep people away from the virus and prevent the virus from spreading, especially for those victims who even do not realize that he or she is infected. Therefore, all employees of ZC Rubber must wear face masks anywhere and anytime at work. Until today no employee of ZC Rubber has been infected.
Furthermore, we have supplied thousands of face masks to our distributors to help them handle the Coronavirus issue. If they need more, we will supply more.
It is our primary responsibility to ensure a safe working environment. During the outbreak, we disinfected the work area three times a day, including office areas, factory workshops, and shuttle buses.
Body Temperature Measurement
We took the temperature of our staff twice a day, morning and afternoon. Timely body temperature measurement will help to discover whether an employee has the coronavirus early symptoms so that treatment and isolation can be initiated as soon as possible. We believe that you can never be too careful with the safety of your employees.
For the prevention of COVID-19, we encouraged employees to maintain a social distance and reduce meetings during the pandemic. Besides, workshop staff should keep a distance of more than one meter from each other.
At the same time, as an important provider behind daily transportation, we are actively committed to helping our communities to minimize the impact on traffic. In the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, ZC Rubber quickly set up a mobile rescue team to provide 24-hour free tire repair service for medical workers and vehicles in Hangzhou. ZC Auto Space, a chain brand that focuses on quick maintenance of tires, offered free disinfection services for all the customer vehicles that came to the store.
How is production going at this point?
Fortunately, our production was little affected. Since March, ZC Rubber has fully resumed production, and the capacity has quickly returned to normal levels, with all production equipment into full operation. The plants in China and Thailand now have 100% capacity to meet the needs of domestic and international customers.
Where do you see things headed in the next six months or so？
We expect that the business will decline greatly in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue until the end of 2020. As a result, the economy has taken a big hit, and so has the tire business. Fortunately, we forecast that commercial tire business will be better compared to consumer tires as the day-to-day business is still running when people are working from home. However, the trend will not last a long time after people return to their work.
We have to struggle as the competition will be tougher and tougher in the coming months. Over the past few months, much capacity has been idle and inventories have remained in the warehouses of manufacturers and distributors. It will take some time to clear inventory before things return to normal. The inventories clearance definitely will slow the demand on newly produced products. Now more and more factories resumed the production so in a near future, the market will suffer some oversupply. ZC Rubber today keeps the production capacity of over 20 million truck tires and we hope that we may have some advantages over our competitors by our large scale mass production.
We cherish the support of distributors and the loyalty of consumers. We believe if we can serve our distributor and customer well, we may have the reward and continue the business. Also, we will support our distributors all over the world while facing the challenge, and join together in a common endeavor to fight against the current difficulties. Challenge and competition are there, and we are trying to find a way out.
Everyone suffers from the disaster, but we still believe that we will overcome it as we unite and resolute. We will be well prepared for the market rebounds and will bring more safe and valuable products to consumers.