Agricultural Tyre Market: 2001 has been a difficult year
The world-wide market for agricultural machines and tyres is has been characterised by a rationalisation processes over several years. The leading competitors in the tyre sector (Michelin-Group, Trelleborg Wheel Systems (TWS), Continental and Goodyear) have more or less completed repositioning themselves in the market. The widest multi-brand variation has been attained by the Michelin-Group, which covers with its four brands (Michelin, Kleber, Taurus and Stomil) all price-segments and applications.
However, the development of this tyre segment cannot be viewed in isolation. It is influenced and defined by a number of fundamental and mutually connected parameters. These are:· the general economical development of the agricultural sector,· the changing structure of the German agricultural sector since reunification,· seasonal influences/aspects (e.
g. weather conditions) and· sales, numbers and specifications of agricultural machines (especially tractors).In Germany fewer and fewer farming companies have concerns about a permanently increasing average area of land – a trend that can be observed throughout the rest of Europe.
At the same time agricultural machinery is becoming more powerful, larger and faster, and the tyre manufacturer has to produce a product that can cope with these demands and yet remain gentle on crops to ensure maximum yield.In the first half of the year 2001 the already decreasing number of machinery sales found an additional seasonal reason in the sinking investments of the farmers, due to the BSE and the FMD-crisis. The increased cost-consciousness of the farmers became obvious in an trend towards cheaper brands.
In the second half of the year the tyre market recovered a little bit from its bad results in the first six months but the overall negative figures could not be overcome completely so that ultimately a five percent loss was expected, compared to the previous year. This meant a total number of 220,000 tractor tyres sold in Germany (radial: 143,000 pieces)..