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Pelmar Engineering founder celebrates 80th and considers six decades in business

Pelmar Engineering

Jul 20, 2023

As company founder and chairman Jacob Peled (third from left) considers changing gear away from his hands-on role within the family business, Tyres & Accessories found out more about Pelmar’s history and ongoing legacy.
20th July 2023Author: Chris Anthony

Pelmar Engineering Group describes itself as “a worldwide supplier of modern equipment solutions for the rubber and tyre industry”, a very specialist niche market in which the company has grown into a leadership position. But that reputation has been six decades in the making. Shortly after he celebrated his 80th birthday, as company founder and chairman Jacob Peled considers changing gear away from his hands-on role within the family business, Tyres & Accessories found out more about Pelmar’s history and ongoing legacy.

For those new to the Pelmar Engineering Group name, the company focuses on “designing comprehensive solutions for the rubber and tyre industry”. In practice that generally involves the supply of used, reconditioned and new high-quality equipment as well technological and know-how advisory skills. But it also involves broader business consultancy.

In the words of company literature, “all this know-how, capabilities and services are offered together with complete project management” in order to ”professionally organize, plan and execute large and complex machinery/line/plant installation contracts on behalf of our clients and regardless the project location.”

For example, Pelmar Engineering Group recently acquired “the remaining machinery and other auxiliary equipment from Continental Tires’s Aachen Plant”. As a result, the company is now offering tyre manufacturing equipment for the production of premium tyres.

Pelmar Engineering Group is made-up of a network of seven subsidiaries, with 20 representatives running major logistics centres in Europe, USA and the Far East. Specific locations include: Birmingham, UK; Hanau, Germany; and company headquarters in Ramat Hasharon, Israel as well as additional facilities in China, India and South Korea.

Each office is run as a separate company. In the Far East, Pelmar’s Chinese operation is an exception to that rule and runs as a successful 50:50 joint venture with a local partner.

The UK operation was the first location to be established. But now the German and Chinese sub-businesses are said to be the most successful in the network.

Altogether the combined businesses have grown to a position of market leadership in what they do. And that means total turnover in the mid-double-digit millions 20 years ago and knocking on three-digit millions today.

‘Bringing people together…’

Pelmar Engineering Group began in 1966. Over here that date is synonymous with a singular footballing success, but for Jacob Peled it carries greater significance since it is also the year he got married and started his family business:

“In 1966 we started the business and got married. I’m still married. And I’m still running the business!”

Over the years the company has made its name buying and selling tyre and rubber manufacturing machinery as factories have changed hands. Now the range of services clearly also includes the sale of new machinery as well as involvement in the sale of the businesses themselves. Moving forward, this looks likely to be an area of increasing interest for Pelmar as a group. Indeed, the skills of bringing people together and initial contract supervision are areas the business intends to continue.

However, as wide as the company’s remit is, there is one area of the tyre business Pelmar is not involved in: “We don’t buy or sell tyres,” Jacob Peled explained. That doesn’t mean the opportunity has never arisen. Sometimes clients have even tried to pay in tyre stocks. Nevertheless, avoiding the sale of end products has remained a consistent and strategic decision throughout the life of the company. Pelmar sold in 2021 its modern advanced custom compounding plant to ATIRE Sri Lanka. The plant is now active producing high-quality compounds, especially for solid tyres.

In 2022, Pelmar sold its metalworking plant in Yokneam to Elbit Conglomerate. That plant is now successfully producing undercarriage parts for armoured vehicles, especially road wheels.

“More time to do things not done…”

The celebration of his 80th birthday in February coincides with the consideration of what to do next. TGL, the rubber products daughter business of Pelmar Engineering has just been sold. Established and run as a family business, Pelmar Engineering clearly has a bright future, but with the next generation successful in their own right, now could be the right time for a fresh start.

Personally, while Peled never mentions the word retirement, Pelmar’s founder and chief executive, is planning what to do with any newly-found space in his schedule, adding that such a change would give him “more time to do things not done”. One such opportunity is the chancellorship of a local university, which certainly would be a change from the tyre industry.

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