Bonn, Germany – Sale of replacement tires in Germany grew by just 0.5% in 2017 to reach around 55.1 million tires, the German Tyre Retail and Vulcanisation Trades Association has reported.
The consumer tires segment – car/off-road and light truck tires – represented around 92% of the market, followed by HGV tires at around 5.0%, and motorcycle tires at 2.4%.
Farm and earthmover tires accounted for the rest were around just 0.4% of sales, added the 29 May statement from the trade association.
"Tire sales from retail to consumer has thus stabilised at a high level for the third year in a row," said managing director Yorick Lowin, in BRV’s report on the German tire replacement business.
The group’s analysis of the consumer tire segment further showed that car and off-road tires (4x4) tires took a 92.5% market-share and 85% of the overall tire replacement business. With over 47 million tires, it estimated, this product group saw 0.4% more sales than in the previous year.
Due to the increasing difficulty in precise allocation by tire dimension, car and off-road tires are now cumulated for the first time in the BRV market data.
"In doing so, we are taking account of the trend of car tire dimensions becoming increasingly large, and the fact that the two vehicle segments are becoming increasingly intertwined with the manufacturers’ model policies and the sustained boom in demand for road-ready SUVs," explained Hans-Jürgen Drechsler, MD and technical expert of the German tire retail association.
For the first time, the association presented all-season tires as a separate category in the consumer segment in its 2017 statistics. They had previously been allocated to summer tires.
Last year, all-season tires achieved a share of around 16% in that segment with sales of 8.2 million items.
"We are thus also following the market trend there, too," Drechsler said about the introduction of the new all-season product category to the market statistics.
"Even if as an association we largely still recommend 'summer tires in summer, winter tires in winter', and only consider the use of all-season tires sensible in a clearly defined range, supply and demand are growing and so of course we have to document and analyse this development," he added.
The BRV statistics show that the sales volume for all season tires in the consumer segment has risen by 17% on average compared to the previous year, but mainly to the detriment of summer tire sales, whilst the sales of winter tires remained stable.
Around half of sales in the consumer segment in 2017 were, like in the previous year, accounted for by winter tires, whilst the summer-tire market share decreased by around two percent to almost 34% and the all-season share increased by around 2 points to just over 16%.
This development, noted BRV, was very similar in both product groups in the consumer segment.
Sales of light truck tires increased 5.6% over the previous year, however, thus being considerably higher than both the car/off-road tire product group (+0.4%) and the overall segment average (+0.8%).