UHP segment where ‘the vast majority of the action takes place’ – GfK

The observation that trends regarding tyre size and speed rating have been tracing an upward trajectory for some time is nothing new, but the clear focus of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers on higher than high performance segments in Europe has perhaps never been so pronounced. Chasing improved profit margins with increased technology is always attractive to those with the capability and the incongruously strong luxury car market has provided an additional reason for migrating business focus from V-rated and 17” tyres into WYZ and 18”-plus territory, according to Automotive market research company GfK.

Kevin Glynn, account director, Auto at GfK comments, “In my dealings with manufacturers most of them agree that the UHP sector is 17” and above. The focus of the market is definitely here with further focus on 18” and above. Clearly this is the more profitable area for both manufacturers and retailers. In terms of speed index the vast majority of the action takes place in the WYZ arena although there are small volumes in V.”

The most popular size in the UHP arena, defined as 17” and WYZ speed rated, would be the 225/45R17, which alone holds a share of over 17 per cent of this segment, GfK reveals. This size has seen varied growth patterns over the last six months comparing month on month. Consistent growth is seen in the 225/40/18 holding around 12 per cent of the segment share which has seen increased volume sales for the last six months.

The top five sizes by unit sales are as follows:

  • 225/45R17
  • 225/40R18
  • 235/45R17
  • 205/50R17
  • 225/50R17
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