Impact Energies Forum

Black Star


Founded in 1979 in the Lyonnais, Black Star is the last company in France to retread tires for light vehicles, a technique that major manufacturers no longer use except for trucks. Hitherto confined to atypical dimensions, Black Star is changing scale by unveiling at the low-carbon mobility fair Zero (from April 5 to 7) its Leonard tires, compatible with 70% of sedans and SUVs in circulation. “We wanted an unusual name for a tire that is no less ordinary,” defends Laurent Cabassu, Managing Director of Black Star. After ruthless testing, successful casings (85% rejection rate) receive new tread and sidewalls. A process that emits 63% less CO and consumes 80% less material than manufacturing a new tyre. The feat is made possible by the takeover in 2021 of the Bridgestone site, in Béthune (Pas-de-Calais), financed by subsidy and the entry into the capital of Mobivia (Norauto, Midas, etc.). The objective within four years is to refurbish 1 million tires per year, in a French market of 40 million new tyres. Sold 20% more expensive than an Asian tire but 30% cheaper than a premium whose carcass it uses, Leonard promises services equivalent to those of a mid-range. "Choosing our locally reconditioned tires means contributing to the circular economy as much as safeguarding jobs that cannot be relocated", boasts Laurent Cabassu. Magazine CHALLENGES 16 avril 2023

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