ORLANDO, Fla.—The rise of Chinese tires in U.S. and world markets is due to many forces, and will continue barring any government actions to stop it, according to a speaker at the International Tire Exhibition and Conference in Orlando Aug. 20.
In the truck tire market alone, Tier 1 tires are no longer the most profitable choice for truck fleet managers, according to Walt Weller, vice president for strategic markets at CMA L.L.C./Double Coin.
“The quality gap has narrowed dramatically,” Weller said. “The perception of Chinese tires is changing, just as it did for Japanese tires in the 1980s.”
Supply issues have also played into China's surge in the U.S. tire market, according to Weller.
“Major brand allocations have caused fleets to seek alternatives,” he said. “Major brands no longer offer the best cost-benefit package to end-users.”
China now supplies 55 percent of global demand for truck tires, and theoretically could capture 85 percent of that market, Weller said.
ITEC's tire dealers/auto service conference continues in Orlando through Aug. 22.