Q&A based on interview at the recent Commercial Vehicle Show 2017 in Birmingham with Peri Theodosiou, assistant product marketing manager – Commercial at Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK Ltd:
Q How is the truck tire market faring right now?
The truck market is enjoying a healthy period of growth complimented by a strong Manufacturing sector. Following the Brexit vote the resulting devaluation of sterling has seen UK manufactured goods become cheaper than usual. This in turn is generating activity in the Haulage sector, for the delivery of raw material and the finished manufactured goods.
Premium brands are growing, as the demand for premium products is present in the truck tyre industry. There will always be a challenge presented by cheaper imports, but we are happy with our current state of growth.
Q Are Chinese imports weakening?
There has been a steady growth of imports year to date of approximately 3%. We are not too worried about this as our main share of market is in premium brands, our customers are aware that our tyres provide them with an economical investment, they may pay more to purchase the tire but they receive savings due to fuel efficiency and mileage maximisation.
Q What are the main regulatory drivers in the market today?
The one that springs to mind, is the switch from Euro5 to Euro6. This is going to change the way people view their tires and use their tires, with regards to emissions.
For us as a tire manufacturer we see that there may be a shift in the usage and the particular spec of tire that is common for the Euro6 vehicles.
Predominantly, this could be changes in sizes. It will still be the same design, the same application. There will just be changes in the tire sizes for the vehicles we see coming through.
Q What about the impact of moves towards autonomous vehicles, connectivity etc?
Regardless of who is driving vehicles will always need tires.
In terms of connectivity we are very focused on this area of development. We have recently launched our own service offering, called Proactive Solutions, with TPMS as one of the products within that.
There are many TPMS systems currently in the market, the difference that Goodyear Proactive Solutions brings is the ability to analyse and report on live data. This enables fleet operators to be alerted when a tyre has lost pressure or increases in temperature which may cause potential tyre damage, this in turn allows the operator to active proactively to rectify any potential issues before they cause damage. This real time monitoring is what sets Goodyear Proactive Solutions apart.
Q Who will own that type of data?
The data will be collated and analysed by Goodyear Proactive Solutions software containing the unique predictive algorithms. The data will them be presented in a report format for the fleet operators to be made aware of any potential issues.
All data will be confidential and only accessed by Goodyear Proactive Solutions and the fleet operator.