Passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyre production trends in Western Europe have been scaling down over the long-term. The move to larger production facilities in the comparatively low-cost labour markets in Eastern Europe, or greater reliance on imports from Asia, has seen a steady stream of plant closures and conversions to speciality, short-run production capacity – on in the case of Cooper Tire’s UK plant, for example, one followed by the other – in the region. A new assessment of the most recent three-year period by tyre industry analyst Astutus Research suggests that the overall picture has been of a decline similar to the period following the 2008 financial crisis, which was itself a catalyst for this trend. Yet digging a little deeper into the figures shows several dynamics at play in European PCLT tyre production, including supply chain disruption and spiralling energy costs. For comprehensive analysis of global tyre market trends, a series of reports by Astutus Research are available to buy now in the Tyrepress Reports Shop – click here for more details.
With a wave of new ultra-high performance products from global brands arriving in the post-pandemic market, Tyres & Accessories looks at data supplied by specialist tyre industry analyst Astutus Research showing just how quickly the market for high rim diameter (HRD) tyres is now growing in Western and Central Europe (this data excludes Russia, Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe).
While van manufacturers have been both developing their electric portfolios and sustaining a double-digit sales contraction in a pandemic affected market, the picture for van tyre suppliers is certainly not as hostile. As we will see in this feature, the requirements of e-commerce and electric vehicles are providing new impetus to van tyre suppliers in the medium term. But 2020 UK figures generated by market data analyst GfK’s Point of Sales Tracking show that the segment is faring better than many with the travails of this year. At the same time, several trends are coalescing to improve the fortunes of van tyre suppliers.
The global recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic is darkening the automotive sector’s short- and medium-term outlook given the prospect of steep declines in demand in North America and developing countries in 2020 in addition to Europe and China.
The latest global tyre market share figures from tyre industry analyst Astutus Research show how long-established, leading players headquartered in Japan, Europe, and North America have seen their volume share diminish, while Chinese, ASEAN, and selected other markets’ tyre manufacturers’ share has risen. The analyst states that in aggregate, the ten leading PCLT tyre manufacturers based in Japan, Europe and North America (J-E-NA) have lost almost 6 percentage points of market share since the end of 2011 (OE and replacement segments combined, volumes in tyre units). In part this reflects a strategic choice of some to focus on the higher value premium segments of the market.
NatWest’s latest UK Automotive PMI report registered the sharpest downturn in business conditions across the UK automotive sector for six-and-a-half years. At 43.5 in May, the headline seasonally adjusted UK Automobiles & Auto Parts PMI – a single figure measure of developments in manufacturing conditions – registered below the crucial 50.0 no-change threshold for the second month running. The latest figure was down from 48.9 in April.
Deloitte’s latest electric vehicle (EV) research shows the pace of global EV adoption, rising from two million units in 2018, to four million in 2020, 12 million in 2025, before rising to 21 million in 2030. By 2030, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) will significantly outperform the rest of the EV market, accounting for 70 per cent of total EV sales.
The viability of a sustained winter tyre market in the UK has long been categorised as doubtful, with sales rarely climbing to 2 per cent. Meanwhile recent improvements in tyre technology and the introduction of products looking to change their perception, led by the Michelin CrossClimate’s success in the fleet market, have seen all-season tyres become an increasingly attractive proposition.
Automechanika Birmingham 2017 represented the perfect opportunity for the UK’s automotive aftermarket to gather as higher technology vehicles continue to push up turnover by 2.4 per cent in 2016. 800 such companies were present at the Birmingham NEC for this year’s show. The aftermarket accounted for £21.6 billion in turnover – a figure boosted by the presence of the more high tech vehicles on Britain’s road in addition to recent record months in new car registrations. Additionally the increasing demand for digital services has helped to boost the online side of the segment, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which reported the latest figures, states that more car parts, accessories and services are bought online than cosmetics or groceries. Tyres, alongside lubricants and filters, are the most commonly replaced part, and help account for some of the growth in digital sales, though demand for digital devices, including telematics and tyre pressure sensors, has grown fastest. Overall, the SMMT states that the automotive sector makes a contribution to the UK economy of £12.5 billion.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and ICDP have published ‘Life after Brexit: challenges and opportunities for UK automotive retail’. The discussion paper analyses challenges, outlines priorities and investigates opportunities that are likely to appear for the retail auto industry as the post Brexit situation emerges.
Poland’s electromobility market is ripe for growth. Favourable government initiatives such as the Electromobility Plan and Electromobility and Alternative Fuels Act are reshaping local mobility and igniting innovative clean technologies to achieve higher competitiveness and energy optimization. Growth will be augmented by consumer incentives and the simultaneous development of infrastructure, energy distribution, and product offerings. Players should look for opportunities in charging point infrastructure development, automotive supply chain transformation, and public transport modernisation to gain a competitive advantage.
The UK is still one of the largest and fastest growing 4×4/SUV tyre markets in Europe. In fact, according to the latest data compiled by market research specialists GfK Automotive, the UK is the second largest in Europe with sales of 1.157 million 4×4 tyres in 2015. Speaking with GfK Automotive account director Kevin Glynn, Tyres & Accessories learnt that only Italy’s annual sales of 1.4 million 4×4 tyres last year was bigger.
Using more than a billion miles of driving behaviour data, collected over three years (2011-2014), Wunelli, a LexisNexis company, has revealed the most frequent braking black spots across the UK created by speed cameras, based on motorists braking excessively just before speed cameras to avoid being caught. 80 per cent of all the UK speed cameras investigated had hard braking activity, with braking increasing six fold on average at these locations. Wunelli defines a hard braking event as a change in speed of 6.5+ mph over a one second time period, which is enough to propel a bag on the passenger seat into the footwell.