ERJ: Please identify one significant development in the tire industry in the last 2-3 years, and explain its importance.
DM: Two themes: (i) The launch of “subscription based” vehicle ownership plans and, (ii) growing consensus that consumers buy will minutes from auto makers rather than the car itself. This has profound implications on the replacement tire industry over time as it means that Corporate decision makers will decide the POS for millions of replacement tires/ alignments/ rotation over time rather than individual consumers.
ERJ: What do you see as main obstacles to the development of the tire manufacturing industry in the coming years?
DM: Digital disruption, those manufacturers who are directly connected with the car (IoT tires) / customer (mobile app) will win increased share. Those that aren’t will struggle with excess capacity.
ERJ: Which technologies will play the biggest role in shaping the ‘tire factory of the future’, and why?
DM: Three technologies: (i) QR codes; (ii) connected car via internet or OBD II/OBD III ports; (iii) mobile app; (iv) mobile fitting of tires; (v) IoT connected tires. The combination of these technologies will allow for better just-in-time delivery of the tires to autonomous or driven vehicles and gradually reduce the dependency on “bricks and mortar” POS.
ERJ: What major changes do you expect to see in tire manufacture and supply over the next few years?
DM: Several themes: (i) continued consolidation of wholesale distribution; (ii) entry of Amazon into automotive aftermarket car care; (iii) reduced reliance on “bricks & mortar” as POS for tire manufacturers and rise of mobile fitting due to incredible convenience it offers to the consumer; (iv) direct consumer to manufacturer data via IoT tires, mobile app and/or connected car (internet or BOD).