Akron, Ohio – Propelled by a sales improvement of nearly 10%, Groupe Michelin has reached the top of the annual ranking of tire makers, compiled by Tire Business, ERJ’s US-based sister publication.
Acquisition provided the main springboard for the French tire maker as it ended Bridgestone Corp.'s run of 11 straight years at the top of the table.
Revenue from Michelin's $1.45 billion buyout of off-road tire specialist Camso in mid-2018 and $545-million takeover of Indonesian tire maker PT Multistrada Arah Sarana TBK in early 2019 provided the main impetus.
Tire Business calculated Michelin's tire manufacturing-related revenue in 2019 at $25 billion, sufficient to edge past Bridgestone, which is a solid No. 2 at $24.3 billion.
Bridgestone noted in its annual report that it experienced lower sales in 2019 in all of its major regional markets in both its consumer and commercial tire segments, while business in specialty tires was on par with fiscal 2018.
In its annual report, Michelin attributed its increased sales to the consolidation of the Camso and Multistrada acquisitions as well as to improved price/mix and favourable currency-exchange factors. Tire volumes actually decreased.
Goodyear remained a solid No. 3 in the rankings at $13.7 billion, but the gap between Goodyear and No. 4 Continental A.G. narrowed for a second straight year, based on a 4.7% drop in sales by Goodyear and a 1% increase by Continental's tire business.
The next four spots in the ranking remained unchanged: Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd retained the No. 5 spot ahead of Pirelli & C. SpA., Hankook Tire Co. Ltd and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.
Full details and analysis of the data in the Global Tire Report will feature in both the Sept/Oct and Nov/Dec issues of European Rubber Journal magazine.