Bridgestone retains top spot in global tire rankings

But change afoot, as Camso deal boosts Michelin; while Sumitomo jumps to fifth slot

After nearly a decade of ‘status quo’ among the world’s largest tire makers, the pecking order at the top could be in for a shuffle in the coming year or two, depending on how well Group Michelin’s pending acquisition of OTR/industrial tire and wheel producer Camso Ltd pans out.

Michelin’s $1.45-billion offer to buy the former Camoplast Solideal could boost the French tire maker’s annual sales by $900 million or more, putting Bibendum in a position to challenge Bridgestone Corp.’s 10-year reign at the top of the global tire league.

For 2017, Bridgestone retained the title of No. 1 tire maker by roughly $800 million over Michelin – $24.4 billion versus $23.6 billion – as Bridgestone’s tire division reported 9.5% revenue growth versus 5% for Michelin.

The revenue from Magog, Quebec-based Camso would go a long way toward nullifying Bridgestone’s advantage.

Michelin said combining the Camso business with its own OTR tire assets will create a global leader in OTR mobility solutions.Other major players in the OTR field include Bridgestone, Titan International, Trelleborg Wheel Systems and BKT.

Goodyear remained a solid No. 3 in the rankings and maintained a $3-billion gap between it and No. 4 Continental AG, which reported growth in 2017 of nearly 6% versus Goodyear’s 1.4%.

Change near the top?

While Goodyear’s revenue gap to Continental is solid, London-based Astutus Research maintains Continental is on the verge of demoting Goodyear to No. 4 in terms of passenger tire capacity.

Astutus contends that the scale of Conti’s capital spending on new capacity in the past few years – totaling close to 20 million units a year – has pulled the German company equal with Goodyear in the passenger/light truck tire realm…


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