Retreads are basically old recycled tyres. Retreads never really took off, and a lot of motorists still have negative views about them. Retreads are not that common although still being produced today, and are limited to a few sizes. Retreads are more commonly found on off road 4x4 sizes and truck sizes. Fleets tend to use retreads for larger vehicles such as trucks. Retreads themselves are one of the greenest products a fleet can use.
The retread demise was because of cheaper chinese budget makes retreads were just too expensive in comparison to budget makes. Budget tyres were getting cheaper and were obviously better quality compared to the retread. From a customer point of view, the retread has to be cheaper than a budget tyre for it to be a viable option.
Tyres are made up of synthetic rubber, which is petroleum based. If a tyre is retreaded, then there is a lot less petroleum oil used. Larger sizes especially truck sizes are popular in retreads because the truck tyre structure or carcass is expensive, so it made sense to recycle a larger tyre then to scrap it.
A retread is basically a new lease of rubber put on an old tyre without changing the cords or infrastructure. The quality of retreads never matched the quality of new ones there was always an issue with the finish of the rubber. Most retreads were made in one type of tread design, and had lower speed ratings. Retreads came in speed ratings of 'P' or 'S' very few came in any higher speed ratings as required by most vehicles today. The other problem with with retreads is that they are often heavy,and there can be problems balancing a wheel with retread tyres fitted.
Retreads will never become popular for the reasons mentioned above, in the last couple of months the price of budget makes has been on the increase which could see some motorists having no choice but to turn to the cheaper option of retread or part worn tyres. The other advantage of retreads are because they are essentially recycled old tyres there would be fewer tyres going to land fill or scrap. They are a lot more envireomently friendly.