Fleet tire sales to boom by 51% over next five years

Fleet tire sales to boom by 51% over next five years

LEATHERHEAD, Surrey, UK and AKRON, Ohio, USA – June 14, 2021 – Valued at $64.6 billion in 2021, global demand for fleet (light vehicle, truck and bus) tires will grow year-on-year at a rate of 8.7% to $97.8 billion in 2026.

This data from the new Smithers study – The Future of Fleet Tires to 2026 – highlights the importance of fleet tire contracts moving forward, as the tire industry looks to recover from the radical drop in demand for passenger vehicle tires in 2020. Fleet tire applications will also provide a vital forum for manufacturers to introduce innovative value-adding smart tire concepts, and extend their profitability via complimentary fleet management software and service contracts.

The impact of COVID-19 was greatest in consumer tires. In contrast haulage became an essential service, supplemented by a pool of new smaller urban delivery vehicles for the e-commerce segment. In 2021, total fleet tire use will be 413 million units – up from 398.2 million in 2020. Recovering the volumes seen in 2019 will not happen before 2023, however.

Future growth will be concentrated in light commercial fleet tires, as trucking and mass-transit represent mature markets. The former will account for 64.5% of incremental growth over the next 5 years, as total consumption worldwide is forecast to approach 634 million units in 2026.

In the immediate response to the pandemic, there was a hiatus of investment in new mobility formats. Smithers’ analysis finds that the business case for these remains strong, and some fleet operators have used the Covid disruption to revise their business strategy. The market for connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) transport in fleet operations is a major strategic growth topic. These will lay the foundation for the larger shifts in mobility that will define the evolution of transportation and tires through 2040.

R&D priorities for tires include meeting fuel-efficiency goals via lower rolling resistance models; especially for electric vehicles as charging infrastructure and range remain limited. Intelligent tires will also be a key enabler of the new era of mobility. For fleet users these can offer immediate gains via full-time and fleet-wide optimized tire pressure. Smart tires with sensors that communicate tire pressure or replacement needs are easier to justify to fleets where the initial investment will be realised more quickly across the multiple vehicles via increased uptime and less maintenance.

As this happens, there will be deeper participation of vehicle OEMs – such as Ford, Daimler, Volvo and Tesla – in fleet services. The recent announcement of General Motors’ BrightDrop EV ecosystem concept highlights how business fleet operations and management can be transformed with direct implications for tire design, management and replacement sales. In the longer term, this will foster a transition towards a tires-as-a-service business model.

From a regional perspective, Europe is the largest fleet tire market. It has large passenger car/light vehicle fleets, and will be the second fastest growing region through to 2026. Asia-Pacific, led by China, will lead the world in growth with robust fundamentals for its tire market and a trend to expansion in fleet penetration and management services. North America is the third largest region; it will still see a compelling compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 8.3%, by volume, over the Smithers forecast period. 

Published today, The Future of Fleet Tires to 2026 provides comprehensive data and qualitative analysis on this lucrative and fast-developing sector. Market data and forecasts by value and volume are provided for all fleet tires by tire type across six world regions, and 14 leading national markets. This is combined with a specific focus on the new business opportunities that are emerging for tire manufacturers and distributors to extend their service offerings.

Find out more

Download The Future of Fleet Tires to 2026 brochure

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