In 2018, global automobile market encountered its first downturn for the five years. Global automobile production edged down 1.7% on an annualized basis due to weak demand and political rivalries among great powers, of which passenger car declined by 4.1% and commercial vehicle rose 5.5%. The Chinese automobile market showed negative growth for the first time after 28 consecutive years of expansion, as a result of factors such as maturity of the market leaving smaller room to grow, the slowing Chinese economy and the expiration of some automobile promotion incentives. In the context of the depressed Chinese automobile market, its tire industry characterized the following in development in 2018:
1. Market: In 2018, global tire output reached more than 2 billion units, worth RMB1.1 trillion and with a CAGR of about 2.4% between 2013 and 2018; Asia, Europe and North America collectively commanded 70% or so of the global market. As a key manufacturer which supplies nearly one-third of global tires, China made 648 million tires in 2018, at a pace of -0.8%, the first negative growth over a decade. The slight downtrend in output will expectedly continue to 2019 as the country’s tire industry transforms for upgrading.
2. Segments: Passenger car tire market growth will depend largely on replacement demand from passenger car market which consumes over 80% tires and is about to be saturated. Commercial vehicle tire market will slow down due to the saturation of both OEM and replacement markets.
3. Pattern: Global tire industry pattern remains stable now that Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear and Jiangsu General Science Technology Co., Ltd. rule the roost; Chinese tire industry gets increasingly concentrated, which means already strong players tend to be stronger, for example, industry leaders like Triangle Tire, Linglong Tire and Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber and other listed companies, make up 80% of the total profits. In contrast, small and medium players have to struggle to survive and some are even in the red. In 2018, tire industry in China saw CR5 of over 30%, of which Linglong Tire and Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber played a leading role each with a market share of 8.5%.
4. Export: In recent years, China has faced a grim dilemma in tire export in the wake of China-US trade war and “anti-dumping and anti-subsidy” duties imposed by European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce on Chinese truck tires. China’s tire exports were 287 million units in 2018, presenting a CAGR of 3.8% during 2008-2018, and will get better (the CAGR in China’s tire exports to the United States stood at -30.1% from 2015 to 2018) as the United States removed its antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese tires in May 2019.
5. Price: the rising prices of raw materials and more investment in environmental protection have pushed up production cost of tire manufacturers that had to raise their prices in recent two years. In early 2019, more than a dozen announced a 2%-5% increase.
6. Trend: China’s tire industry is gearing towards high-end, brand reputation and green manufacturing in pursuit of development, through which Chinese tires have enjoyed a better brand image and a higher penetration that has risen from 20% ten years ago to 40% in replacement market and from 7% to 24% in OEM market.
Global and China Tire Industry Report, 2019-2025 highlights the following:
Global and China automobile markets (output, sales, etc.);
Global tire industry (the United States, Europe, etc.) (market size, enterprise pattern, etc.);
China tire industry (market size, output, export, competitive pattern, price, etc.);
Raw materials (natural rubber, synthetic rubber, carbon black, etc.) (market size, price, etc.);
28 global tire manufacturers (operation, output, sales channel, etc.).