ERJ: Please identify one significant development in the tire industry in the last 2-3 years, and explain its importance.
SH: One of the significant developments in the tire industry is the increased performance of the tires, especially in the consumer and truck segments. This increase in efficiency has a big impact on the German tire trade replacement market. Although the vehicle fleet in Germany is increasing the overall amount of sold tires in the aftermarket remains nearly static.
ERJ: What do you see as main obstacles to the development of the tire manufacturing industry in the coming years?
SH: We see a problem with the future availability of the raw materials especially the natural rubber. Being a natural resource we have to keep in mind that the exploitation of natural resource for our economic growth has sometimes a negative connotation of accompanying environmental degradation. The tire manufacturing industry will have to address the issues of sustainability including the closed loop recycling management.