Global truck tires market set to reach nearly 658 million units by 2025

The global truck tires market is exposed broadly to most economic, consumer and industrial influences in the global economy and is expected to grow modestly but steadily over the ten years to 2025, according to a new report.

Based on a forecast of moderate sustained growth and barring major disruptive scenarios in global financial or geopolitics, global demand for truck tires is expected to grow at an average annual compound growth rate of 3.3% per year, to nearly 658 million units by 2025. A new report from Smithers Rapra - The Future of Truck Tires to 2025 - examines the state of the global truck tire market and analyses the economic, environmental, regulatory and technological trends that will shape supply and demand over the next ten years.

The pressure that tiremakers are being put under by OEMs to help attain fuel economy and emissions goals is intense in the light truck segment and, going forward, increasingly in the medium/heavy segment as well. The adoption of alternative powertrains such as hybrids and electric drives is changing tire design requirements, and ever more effective LRR designs are in demand. Tire makers are exploring different materials (such as nanotechnology) and technologies (such as ‘intelligent’ tires, or non-pneumatic tires) in the push for improvements to fuel economy and to overcome the trade-offs inherent in the Magic Triangle (where performance and treadlife are also points). In addition, manufacturers are seeking out alternative, more sustainable, raw materials to minimize dependence on volatile commodities like natural rubber and oil-derived products.

Truck tire end-uses, defined by vehicle type, are broadly divided into light trucks, and medium/heavy trucks. Light trucks consist of passenger vehicles such as CUVs, SUVs, mini-vans and pickup trucks, some of which are used in commercial applications. Medium and heavy trucks ranging from delivery trucks to service vehicles to tractor trailers are almost exclusively commercial in nature and are characterized more by fleets, although there are individual owner-operators as well. In terms of tire volume, the two groups are similar in size. Light truck tires account for over half of global truck tire demand currently, and will continue to do so through 2025, matching overall industry growth of 3.3% per year. 2015 demand of 253.7 million units is expected to rise to over 350 million in 2025. Medium and heavy truck tires account for global demand of over 223 million units in 2015, representing a fairly stable share of the total around 47%. Keeping pace with the total, demand will surpass 307 million units in 2025.

In terms of regional forecast, the Asia-Pacific region, led by China (despite some more recently emerging concerns), will be the main driving force in the global truck tire market growth, both in terms of domestic demand and as the source of exports to other regions. This industry-leading market will grow faster than any other region, at 4.2% per year through 2025, with demand exceeding 371 million units. Growth in the smaller, developing regions will also be strong, thanks to more mobile populations, economic development and the growth of industrial and mining trucking. Both South America and Middle East/Africa are expected to grow 3.9% per year to 34.9 million and 10.4 million units respectively. Meanwhile, despite high levels of tire innovation, the relatively slow-growing, mature markets of North America and Europe will trail, at 2.3% and 1.4% per year, respectively. The US manufacturing and energy sector will lead growth in North America, while Europe (which includes Russia) remains somewhat constrained by ongoing financial and geopolitical difficulties.

FIGURE 1.1 Global Truck Tires by Region to 2025, million units

Source: Smithers Rapra

The Future of Truck Tires to 2025 is available now for £4,200. For more information, please contact Bill Allen on +44 (0) 1372 802 086 or email ballen@smithers.com