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What's Next for the Tire Industry? Trends, Advancement in Tire Technology & Dominant Region
Published Date: 22 Feb 2022

Rapid urbanization, rising population levels, & increasing disposable income continue to influence various industries worldwide. It also includes the automotive sector and, especially, the tire industry. Tires are amongst the most vital parts of any vehicle. They not only provide safety & security to drivers but also ensure their comfort.

Autonomous vehicles are undergoing rigorous testing globally. As a result, smart tires integrated with advanced technologies like sensors to collect, analyze, & transmit data between vehicles and the outside world shall play a critical role in driving both the automotive & tire industries in the future. Based on these aspects, a recent research report has cited around 3.85% CAGR for the Global Tire Market during 2021-26.

Tires are made using various kinds of materials. However, natural rubber is the most widely used while manufacturing tires. A rubber tire offers superb traction & shock absorption on roads. In these tires, tread consists of layers of joint less cap materials, beads, polyester, and rayon, among others. There are numerous tire sizes & styles available globally to fulfill the dynamic requirements of end-users. Tires are categorized into different kinds, such as all-season tires, touring tires, summer tires, winter tires, highway tires, All-Terrain (AT) tires, mud-terrain tires, and much more.

Globally Emerging Trends in the Tire Industry

The two types of tires include Radial tires & Bias tires. In a radial tire, the sidewall & the tread function as two independent features. Whereas a bias tire, which comprises multiple rubber plies overlapping each other, has the crown & sidewalls that are interdependent. With the mounting focus on lowering carbon emission levels and improving fuel efficiency in vehicles, the global tire market is adopting new directions in the manufacturing process to suffice the latest requirements of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).

The latest trends in the industry include better tolerances in the manufacturing process, more radials in tires that consume less fuel, low rolling resistance, and focus on improved traction & on-road performance to increase fuel efficiency. Another prominent trend in the tire industry includes the use of 'silica' to help improve tire performance by minimizing the rolling resistance and enhancing cut & chip resistance.

Tubeless Tires to Continue Flourishing in the Coming Years

During high-speed driving, the tire temperature surges significantly, which directly impacts the tire tube pressure, and it is quite a vulnerable situation for normal tires. Due to the heat, any protrusion into a tire that would otherwise cause a puncture can burst the tube. In tubed tire tires, the air escapes fast as the only airtight component in the tire is the tube. In a few cases, the air escape is so strong that it can tear the rubber. If this occurs, the driver may lose control of the vehicle, which, at high speeds, can be fatal.

This situation can be prevented easily by tubeless tires. As the name suggests, these are tires without a tube and are better suited to hold air than a tube tire, which is much thinner. They are designed in a way that they can hold air on their own. Furthermore, they contain air themselves, which allows them to dissipate heat effectively. Tubeless tires offer a variety of benefits that make them the first choice for every rider. They might not be for everyone, but they are here to stay, and their future looks bright.

Airless Tires: Advancement in the Tire Technology

The idea of airless tires may sound oxymoronic, but they are practical products that are becoming increasingly feasible. Tires of this type are made with thermoplastic spokes that hold rubber tread in place as well as give off a traditional rubber footprint when the tire makes contact with the road. In addition, airless tires have a variety of benefits - both for the environment and for the consumer. In terms of consumers, airless tires will never experience air leakage, which means no spare tires are required, and less vehicle weight equates to improved fuel economy. Furthermore, economic gains may be achieved by reducing flat tire slowdowns caused by lane closures, onlookers, and the traffic that results from them. Moreover, airless tires minimize energy loss, contributing to a positive environmental impact. In addition, unlike conventional products, they can be constructed from recyclable materials. Due to their durability, airless tires never need to be thrown away. These tires provide an innovative and sustainable alternative to conventional tires.

Further, airless tire technology is benefiting greatly from recent advancements in research & innovations due to its positive factors. In addition, the demand for these tires has grown due to the expanding global automotive industry and the sudden transition to sustainable and maintenance-free tires. As a result, the leading players in the global tire market, such as Michelin and Bridgestone, are gradually addressing and resolving the various challenges related to airless tires. Nevertheless, airless tires are currently found only on heavy equipment (backhoes, bulldozers, etc.), but they do have a bright future for both bicycles and passenger vehicles.

Passenger Cars to Affect the Growth in the Coming Years

According to the research report, among all the types of vehicles, passenger car is projected to gain more demand, due to the rise in the adoption of modern passenger cars among consumers. Furthermore, as the global automobile industry has grown, it has been strengthened by a growing transport system, an expanding middle class, and a rising disposable income. Furthermore, the advent of ride-hailing apps such as Lyft, Ola, Uber, Didi, etc., has also contributed to the expansion of car fleets on the roads, fueling the car sales boom. Therefore, these emerging trends in the global automobile are projected to increase tire demand around the world.

Asia-Pacific to Dominate, Among all the Regions

Geographically, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to dominate the global tire market, with the highest share during the forecast period. This is due to rapid urbanization in China and India, combined with increased industrial activity and the burgeoning sale of commercial & passenger vehicles in emerging economies. Furthermore, automakers and tire companies are opening plants in the region & enlarging their presence, thus, resulting in the growth of the tire market.

Further, the burgeoning tire sales in Asia-Pacific are also attributed to massive investments in the automotive sector due to low production costs, inexpensive labor, and flexible standards regarding emissions & safety. Furthermore, countries such as India, Japan, and South Korea are investing enormously in their respective agriculture sectors, resulting in an increase in demand for automotive tires for agricultural vehicles across these countries, thus boosting regional demand.

Conclusion

Mounting environmental concerns and changing lifestyle patterns, especially the rise in work-from-home cultures, might lead to another potentially disruptive trend in the global tire market over the coming years. However, car-sharing services, streamlined by mobile applications that enable real-time administration & cost calculation, could significantly impact the demand for tires in the years to come.

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