Market data on all-season tires
The traditional space dedicated to GfK statistics will now take a close look at the All-Season segment, the object of much recent debate among market specialists.
Both the industry and its supply chain can no longer ignore a phenomenon that is currently driving the market. Together with GfK we will take a close look at some of the details and trends observed by tire retail specialists.
How do you describe an All-Season tire?
Each tire or item classified in GfK’s database must conform to specific International standards.
This means that in every country, the process of classifying a tire, must be performed by strictly adhering to the tire characteristics as stated by the manufacturer itself. In the case of an All-Season tire, this can only be classified as such if the manufacturer enlists it in its official catalogue as an All-Season tire, so, having an M+S marking is not enough to be considered an All-Season tire.
As far as distribution networks are concerned, how is the All-Season segment faring in Italy?
If we consider the Light Vehicle segment (cars, 4x4/SUV and light commercial vehicles) we have noticed an extremely positive growth trend, +84% in 2015 and +46% in 2016, with even higher peaks in a few selected months.
As shown in diagram 1, this segment reached a 9.9% sell-out market share in 2016, and keeps growing.
But, isn’t this tremendous market growth going to negatively affect the Winter market segment at the same time?
First we need to point out that the Winter segment has, in recent years, been affected by mild winters and very little rainfalls in November and December. And even snow often started falling as late as January or even later, towards the end of the winter season. So we can safely say that the recent weather patterns have not favoured the sell-out of winter tires.
This being said, what we have also noticed, is that the positive trend of the All-Season segment has eroded market share in the Summer segment rather than the Winter. As shown in Chart 1, in the last 3 years the summer segment lost about 6 points, while the winter segment remained pretty much stable. So from a sell-out point of view it was the Summer segment that suffered the most from the All-Season market growth.
How has brand competition developed in the All-Season segment?
Our role as a research company requires us to be impartial, so we can only say that over the last three years (2014-2015-2016) so-called Premium brands, have gone from a 40% to a 56% share in 2016. This does not mean, however, that everyone has experienced the same growth, actually competition has become increasingly aggressive each year.
As you can see from Chart 2, the number of brands sold in the All-Season segment went from 74 in 2014 to 105 in 2016. This also prompted a rapid expansion of the number of products offered to the end-consumer, as the number of different models also rose from 1,176 in 2014 to 2,619 in 2016.
The positive performance of the All-Season segment, though, has mainly affected car tires with medium to small diameters. And, despite the still marginal share, Light Transport tires recorded a +52% compared to 2015, as shown in Chart 3.