ERJ: Please identify one significant development in the tire industry in the last 2-3 years, and explain its importance.
GH: The most important drivers of Tire Retail business were and still are the increasing complexity of car technology and further digitalisation. The digitalisation leads to a changing consumer behaviour and to changing consumer needs which need to be addressed by tire retailers with new products, services and new ways of communication to be successful. Furthermore tire dealers are confronted with increasing complexity in car technologies which drives the necessity in investing heavily new tools/technologies and also qualification of dealer staff.
ERJ: What do you see as main obstacles to the development of the tire manufacturing industry in the coming years?
GH: The main challenge for tire dealers in the future will be the recruiting of new employees that have the right qualification for the advanced tire retail business. Furthermore tire dealers need to invest heavily in new technologies and IT-tools. Both factors will be challenging for the tire dealers.
ERJ: Which technologies will play the biggest role in shaping the ‘tire factory of the future’, and why?
GH: All technologies that will help to understand and predict the consumer needs successfully will play major roles in the future for tire dealers. Many market players already building new ways how to interact with consumers based on predicted consumer needs. The tire dealer of the future will be the proactive service provider for different customer groups like private consumers, fleet drivers and fleet organisations. The new communication between dealers and consumers will be more individual, based on specific customer needs and will be just in time.
ERJ: What major changes do you expect to see in tire manufacture and supply over the next few years?
GH: The trend of further market concentration will continue. Especially vertical distribution channels will continue to win in the market.