The global market for Tires is forecast to reach 2.6 billion units by 2024, driven by continuous developments in tire engineering particularly innovations surrounding tire tread technology.
Serving as the only point of contact between the road and the vehicle, tires represent the most important part of an automobile that influences safety, performance and ride experience. A deceptively simple looking vehicle component, the humble tires are in reality complex to design and engineer, requiring significant R&D to develop high performing safe tires. The science and technology behind tires is continuously evolving with several breakthroughs achieved in performance, size, construction, ability to withstand structural stress, use of innovative materials for tire skin, and design of the tire cord, among others.
Given the ever-increasing demand placed on tires by modern vehicles, manufacturer R&D and product innovation efforts are continuously shed on improving performance, safety, abrasion resistance, rolling resistance, and developing innovative materials that help achieve major design goals of safety, performance, and eco-friendliness. In addition, safety and emission standards step up the quality aspects of tires and increase the technical burden and know-how for tire manufacturers. Few of the major factors poised to spur growth in the market include safety regulations, production trends of passenger and commercial, vehicles; replacement cycles, adoption of preventive maintenance strategies and the resulting opening up of opportunities in the aftermarket; and technology innovation in "Green Tire" construction, among others. Poised to score the highest gains in the market in the coming years will be premium and specialty tires with high speed, low rolling resistance, high insulation to reduce road noise, additional cushioning, and innovative tread grooves and patterns.
Defined as the rubber around the circumference of the tire that makes most contact with the road, a tire tread play a key role in providing traction to the vehicle. Wet weather tire typically tend to feature higher tread to void ratio for improved wet traction and braking ability. Important functions a tire tread include influence braking efficiency; maximize fuel efficiency, influence tire grip with the road especially when the vehicle turns or corners; and provides the ability to drive in all terrains wet, muddy, and rocky, among others; enables the vehicle to run smoothly and quietly; provides wear resistance; and resistance to hydroplaning, among others.
There are a wide variety of tread patterns in the market each design to offer unique and special capabilities to the tire such as directional tire tread, asymmetrical tire tread, symmetrical tire tread, directional/asymmetrical tire. Given the importance of tire tread to the performance of a tire, significant R&D dollars are being injected into the development of innovative tread designs, and patterns. A key noteworthy development in this space is the development of flexible polyurethane blocks designed to independently move according to the surface shape of the road. Tilt tread represents another revolutionizing innovation where tire treads are widely partitioned to create a tilting system that maximizes the tread area of the tire to offer unrivalled grip and cornering.
Asia-Pacific represents the largest and the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 6.1% over the analysis period led by factors such as growing population, transportation needs and a parallel rise in vehicle PARC; robust growth of the logistics industry and the resulting expansion of transport vehicle fleet; growing per capita car ownership among the expanding base of middle class population; strong aftermarket opportunities fed by bad road conditions in emerging Asian economies and the increased risk of punctures; falling oil prices, increase in vehicle miles travelled and wear and tear of tires and robust replacement demand; continued trend towards Radialization of commercial vehicle and passenger car tires in most emerging southeast Asian countries; growing stringency of safety regulations and consumer awareness over the fact that healthy tires equals safe rides and the resulting demand for smart new tires upgrades; growing importance proactive maintenance and replacements; and rise in environmental awareness and emerging demand for green tires.
Major players in the market include Apollo Tyres Ltd., Bridgestone Corporation, Continental AG, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Giti Tire Pte. Ltd., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Hankook Tire Co., Ltd., Kumho Tire Co., Inc., Maxxis International, Michelin, Nexen Tire Corporation, Nokian Tyres Oyj, Pirelli & C. S.p.A., Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd., Techking Tires Ltd., Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., and Zhongce Rubber Group Co., Ltd. (China) among others.