The latest data from market analysis specialists GfK suggests that the market is predominantly made up of regional usage 22.5-inch tyres – a trend that is increasing year-on-year. Here Tyres & Accessories takes a look at the latest market data from a number of sources in order to give an overview of current trends. This article focuses on data provided by GfK, but – owing to the fact that it is current hot topic – also analyses different estimates about how many tyres are made in China, something that is outside the scope of the data provided by GfK and therefore our conclusions on this point are something quite separate to GfK’s input.
In our February Car Tyre feature, Tyres & Accessories published some of the latest UK tyre replacement market trends data produced by GfK. That data suggested that SUV tyre sales data was a key driver of both increased rim size as well as volume and value growth in the market. This month, as part of our SUV tyres feature, we take a closer look at the trends in the 4×4 and SUV sector specifically and find that the trends are repeated and developed within the sector.
The car tyre market is growing in size – at least in terms of rim diameter. According to the latest UK car tyre market sell-out data produced by market research specialists GfK, 39 per cent of market is now made up of 17-inch and larger rim diameter products. And what’s more the trend points to continued growth. The GfK Point of Sales Tracking data compares figures from January to December 2016 with those from January 2017 to December 2017 in order to produce the comparisons published here.
According to a study carried out for Kumho Tire, sales of all-season tyres in the UK are only a little over half the European average. Kumho contracted market research institute GfK to look at all-season tyre sales in ten European countries; GfK found that four per cent of tyre buyers in the UK opted for all-season products.
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.
The UK ultra-high performance sector (defined as 17-inch diameters and above) now represents some 38.8 per cent of the UK tyre market. That’s according to the latest market data produced by experts at GfK whose Point of Sales Tracking data compared sales in the period between May 2015 to April 2016 with May 2016 to April 2017. In order to better understand the high performance sector, Tyres & Accessories took a close look at the latest GfK information.
CAM has announced it will sever its ties with the market research company GfK, coinciding with the emergence of the Tyre Intelligence Europe data platform. CAM will relinquish its role in extracting data provided by regional and independent dealers through the agency of its software systems on GfK’s behalf. The service to extract data from customer systems will cease at midnight on 31 March 2017.
GfK reports that 2016 was a successful year for tyre manufacturers in the UK. This is said to have been driven by “the increasing number of SUVs on the road”, which naturally does its part to improve product mix. To be specific, according to GfK, 4×4 tyre sales leapt up 18 per cent in terms of units sold year-on-year. However, taking the year as a whole (including other passenger vehicle fitments), last year GfK’s Panel Market GB was flat.
No review of 2016 would be complete without a look at some market data. During the course of researching this feature Tyres & Accessories asked market research specialists GfK to share some key insights into what has been happening in the UK tyre retail market during the last year or so. GfK’s data is contained in the infographic below and discussed here by us. Clearly 2016 hadn’t come to an end at that point, so the data reflects GfK’s Point of Sales Tracking information comparing November 2014 to October 2015 with November 2015 to October 2016.
The UK automotive industry could suffer the double-blow of declining vehicle sales and declining manufacturing after its exit from the European Union. According to GfK, while new registrations grew from 1.9 million to 2.6 million between 2011 and 2015 (DVLA), the news of Brexit has had a strong impact on the long-running GfK Consumer Confidence Index. The latest figures show an 8 point decline since the June survey, and a fall of 12.8 versus the rolling 12 month average in December 2015.
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.
Michelin has been named one of the 10 best corporate brands in Europe following a representative study by Best Brands. “We are delighted with this outstanding result,” says Anish K Taneja, director of sales Michelin Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
On the one hand, a steadily growing economy and healthily increasing commercial vehicle registrations figures appear to point to a bright future for the UK truck tyre segment. However, on the other hand, the situation is complicated by the increasing imports of low-cost and often un-reported Chinese tyre imports – something that is particularly affecting both current and future retread sales, owing to these products’ lack of retreadability.
As we have seen, the high performance tyre market is a complex and competitive environment. The fact that most manufacturers define and therefore calculate the market in a slightly different way adds to the complexity. With this in mind, Tyres & Accessories asked GfK automotive account director Kevin Glynn for some outside insights into what is going on in the world of high performance tyres.