The integration of Devon company Bandvulc, the UK’s largest truck tyre retreader, and innovative brand leader Continental less than a year ago is already delivering results, according to Managing Director Patrick O’Connell.
Bandvulc began as a small independent company in 1971 when the O’Connell family started recycling truck tyres at a Kingsbridge base using rubber imported from Malaysia. The business has grown to producing 4,000 tyres a week and developed into fleet maintenance work which includes 24/7 support for 70% of the supermarket fleets on our roads, including many household names.
Their success attracted the attention of Continental AG which acquired Bandvulc in July 2016, sustainably strengthening Continental’s position in the UK and Irish market. Bandvulc became the exclusive and sole supplier of the Uniroyal truck tyre brand in January and Managing Director Patrick O’Connell and Business Integration Manager Arthur Gregg have reported positive progress in bringing the two sides of the business closer together to the company’s European Tyre Board.
Patrick, who started in the family business by working on the factory floor in his school holidays, is stepping down as MD of the Bandvulc group of companies on 1 May 2017 to spend more time on other projects within Continental.
“I have enjoyed my years steering Bandvulc and growing a highly successful business,” says Patrick. “It is always down to having people who work together to achieve a goal. At Bandvulc we have always had good people with good systems to produce an output without rival in the industry. I look forward to being involved in a future business with the same vision.”
Taking on the role of MD will be Arthur Gregg, who joined Bandvulc from Continental on acquisition. Arthur, who has a wealth of experience in the tyre industry having previously worked for Michelin and Bridgestone, will report to David Smith, Managing Director at Continental Tyre Group UK.
“Arthur will be taking the helm of a great team that has the drive to succeed and will continue to push forward with great quality products and services plus fantastic new ideas,” says Patrick. “This is going to be a challenge for both of us as we take on new roles.”
Commenting on his appointment Arthur Gregg said “Firstly, I have to thank Patrick and the whole team at Bandvulc who have made me feel welcome here over the last 10 months. They have built up a great business by having a fantastic team of people, which I am privileged to join and now lead.”
Arthur added “I have been a Sales & Marketing Director for over 14 years, so this change gives me a wonderful opportunity to take on new challenges in what is a fast moving, customer focused, innovative business & whilst learning more about the production environment.”
Patrick remains at the Bandvulc site with new responsibilities in retread research & development and innovation & technical advancement, which will offer a better overview of retreading across Europe and worldwide. He will report to Ralf Benack, based at Continental’s head office in Hannover, Germany.