Efforts being made by players in the global rubber tire market to stay relevant in terms of innovation, specifically with reference to sustainability, have led to a surge in R&D as far as rubber tires are concerned. Some of the key developments on this front in recent years include smart connected tires to aid in preventive maintenance and improve durability, and low rolling tires that help achieve improved fuel efficiency.
The global rubber tire market saw sales of ~1.5 Bn units in 2018, a number that is expected to rise over the forecast period to hit the 2.3 Bn units mark. This is due to a rise in the sales of vehicles in the commercial and construction sector, propelled by investments toward infrastructure. Analysts at TMR have conducted a detailed study on the rubber tire market space, which is projected to reach a valuation of ~US$ 195 Bn by the year 2027.
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Innovation in Designs and Materials to Provide Momentum
There has been increasing investments in research & development into the use of a variety of materials for the manufacture of rubber tires, so as to enhance the efficiency, performance, and product life of these tires. This comes specifically on the back of the demand for tires that are made to be stronger, while being lighter and offering better safety and performance features.
The push to vary materials has led to the development of synthetic rubber with considerable benefits over natural rubber. In May 2018, Bridgestone Corporation, one of the frontrunners in the global rubber tire market, announced the development of a High Strength Rubber (HSR) tire, which is the world’s first polymer tire. It is touted as being the next-generation tire material that combines rubber and resin, which has strength and abrasion resistance that is better than natural rubber.
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As lower maintenance costs and longer life of tires have become a high priority, innovations in designs in the global rubber tire market have also had a positive impact on the market. This is particularly true for electric cars, where lighter tires are being deemed a necessity. This has led to design innovation such as the development of airless tire technology that is being put forth by various key players in the business. For instance, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s non-pneumatic tires TurfCommand with DuraWeb™ Technology is being used for commercial lawn mowers, and as a strategy, is also being developed for passenger and commercial vehicles.
Sustainability: A Focal Point for Manufacturers
Manufacturing processes across industries around the world are becoming increasingly sustainable and environmentally-friendly, as players are taking an active interest in promoting the sustainable usage of raw materials and processing. This has resulted in collaborations within and outside the rubber tire landscape for the development of better materials, techniques, and technologies that use all four Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Renew. To this end, players in the rubber tire landscape are also looking at incorporating bio-based materials into the raw materials, making them sustainable without sacrificing on the efficiency and performance of the tires.
Rubber Tire Market: Competitive Landscape
The presence of established players in the market who account for ~40% share of the total market, alongside smaller and emerging players, makes the global rubber tire market a fairly fragmented space. This can be attributed to the high degree of competition due to the market being highly brand-driven. Smaller and regional players in the market are increasingly giving stiff competition to the top four players in the market, a factor that can be credited to the aftermarket demand for rubber tires.
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