Prime Mover Magazine

Australia’s tyre market outlook

Australia’s tyre market outlook

The tyre industry has done well over the past half decade or so, especially compared to other segments of the automotive market. But the competition is becoming increasingly fierce, favouring those who continue to innovate.

Domestic demand for tyres in Australia has been relatively strong since 2010, but with mining investment subsiding and business confidence plummeting, the industry is now forced to reorientate itself.

CommSec’s latest State of the States report showed that the mining sector will stop using a disproportionate amount of economic resources going forward, allowing growth in Australia to spread more evenly throughout the economy.

According to CommSec’s chief economist Craig James, construction will now pick up the baton from mining to become the driving force behind Australia’s economy, marking a major shift for the country. “We are seeing a pick-up in terms of housing construction and that’s much more broad based. We’re seeing that growth in housing construction right across Australia.”

As a result, the tyre industry has to prepare for a range of new transportation challenges – including a shift from heavy-duty to on-road work and a strong focus on efficiency improvement. That’s why savvy companies now focus on fuel-efficient, yet sturdy tyres that can be used in city traffic as well as on construction sites around Australia.

“All aspects of fleet management are demanding scrutiny and, with Australian fleets typically spending more on fuel than almost anything else, reducing costs in this area is a business imperative,” says Bridgestone Australia’s Managing Director, Andrew Moffatt – revealing that working closely with fleets to understand their businesses application is key.

Peter Heatley, Product Marketing Manager at Michelin Australia, is expecting retreadability and sustainability to become increasingly important until the end of the decade. “It’s not just about selling the product anymore, it’s about co-operating with transport businesses to provide added value beyond the initial sale,” he says. “That’s why it’s important to increase tyre life through effective management, including re-grooving and re-treading. As a brand, you need to work closely with each fleet to help them get the most out of their investment – from fitting and balancing through to pressure checks, maintenance, rotations, casing control and the eventual retread.”

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