Import tariffs of up to £60 per tyre imposed by the EU on Chinese-made tyres in May this year have “shaken up” the UK truck tyre market according to Bridgestone.

The anti-dumping measure has seen a sharp decline in sales of cheap Chinese-made tyres and a resurgence in demand for retreads, said Bridgestone’s north region truck and bus product manager Terry Salter.

“The UK market was the most heavily affected in Europe by Chinese imports, which last year reached 750,000 tyres, up to 40% of the market,” Salter said. “We have now seen that reverse and sales of our Dayton brand have soared.”

Sales of Bridgestone’s Firestone brand have also increased and it is having to ramp up production to keep pace with demand.

But the biggest impact has been on retreads, which have been in the doldrums for the last five years as a result of below-cost dumping of tyres in Europe by the Chinese.

Salter said that Bridgestone’s strategic decision to keep investing in retread technology during a particularly lean period was now “fully vindicated”, and its significant investment in equipment in the company’s UK franchised Bandag network and factories is now paying off.

He said: “Throughout the very difficult climate, Bridgestone has stayed fully committed to its retread proposition and franchised Bandag network of retread factories. Our retread products underline our commitment to the Total Tyre Care range of services.”

The switch to Chinese imports has seen 25% of retread manufacturing capacity across Europe close in the last four years, including Goodyear’s factory in Wolverhampton.