Blog Description

Reinventing the wheels of future

Global Tire Market

Automotive | Feb, 2021

The need for automation and faster size changes have led to a major transformation in the tire building machines, process equipment and tire themselves. As new developments are constantly occurring, there have been major changes in tire attributes such as tread/shape, material types, material chemistry, among others. Major global tire manufacturers have made their primary commitment to design technologically advanced tires such as self-healing tires, self-inflating tires, air-free tires, reduced noise tires, etc. The technological impact on the tire manufacturing process has led to innovation in moulds, carving tools, test equipment, and material changes such as different resins, silicas, and aramid fibres.

Types of tires

In terms of core and design, the tires can be classified into two segments, Radial tires and Bias tires.

Radial Tires

Radial tire revolutionized the tire industry when it was first introduced in the market by Michelin in 1946. A radial tire is constructed by overlapping polyester cords with steel belts of the tire running at a 90-degree angle of the tread centre line. Radial means the plies do not cross each other, rather are laid across from one bead to the other. The sidewalls in radial tires allows independent functioning, making them an ideal option for traction and manoeuvring. As radial tires allow sturdier footprint, they don’t flex around large rocks and holes, thus are not considered an ideal choice for rough terrain. However, radial tires are best for long trips, light trucks, highway driving, and regularly used trailers.

Advantages of radial tires

·         Provide smooth and quiet ride

·         Track the pulling vehicle well for better sway control on curves

·         Run cooler as the heat dissipates due to steel mesh

·         Less chances of blowout and adds to the life of tire

·         More resistant to punctures

·         Ensure more stability and less resistance

·         Provide better fuel economy due to less rolling resistance

·         Cost-effective in the long run

·         Possess strong-built structure to operate machines at higher load capacities

·         Low-maintenance costs

Disadvantages of radial tires

·         Low lateral stiffness causes the tire sway to increase as the speed increases, which cause poor transport handling

·         Sidewalls tends to bulge when over-loaded or under-inflated, which increases the risk for damage and puncture

Bias Tires

A bias tire possesses plies that run diagonally across the width of the tire, constructed from a combination of materials such as rubber, steel, fiberglass, and nylon. After one layer of ply, another layer is added, which offers the bias tires versatility and durability. To compete with radial tire performance, belted bias tires were developed, incorporating steel, fiberglass and nylon, which decreased the rolling resistance of bias tires. Bias tires are widely used in many tractors and heavy machineries.

Advantages of bias tires 

·         Less expensive than radial tires

·         Ability to withstand higher loads

·         Ensures comfortable rise on rough terrain

·         Resistant to cuts and punctures due to thicker sidewalls


·         Lower grip at high speeds

·         More sensitive to overheating

·         Accelerated wear

·         Higher fuel consumption

New technologies in tires

The quality of tires impact everything from road safety to driving performance. Thus, the development of new tire technology will help to redefine the future of automobile industry and transform the way we drive. Here are some of the most promising technologies for tires of the future.

Smart tires

To avoid the road accidents caused by defective tires, many tire manufacturers are developing ‘smart’ tires that use Internet of Things connectivity and deliver performance updates to fleet operators. The smart tire looks similar to a standard vehicle tire, but its embedded with sensors, that provide data about the tire performance and road conditions to improve vehicle safety on the road. The information can also be beneficial for improving vehicle maintenance, scheduling vehicle maintenance, reducing carbon emissions, and extending tire longevity. Recently, Continental launched its ContiConnect platform to evaluate and monitor the performance of their commercial fleets, anticipate safety issues, increase fuel efficiency, and reduce overhead costs.

Although different sensor and smart tire solutions like TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors) are readily available and well-known to the customers, more advanced technology has been reserved for professional use. For instance, Nokian Tyres Intuitu has designed smart tires for tractors with smart pressure and temperature monitoring and mobile application for wireless and machine-independent monitoring.

3-D Printed tread pattern tires

About 20% tires in the world are discarded because of punctures, which puts additional stress on the environment and leads to larger carbon footprint. The new 3-D printed tread pattern tires are airless, wheel-tire combination, which are composed of biodegradable materials like bamboo, wood, orange zest, molasses, and natural rubber. The sustainable alternative is not only good for environment as well as high-performing because of the way wheels and tires are fused into one biodegradable and nature-inspired structure. The 3-D printed treads can be “recharged” as often as necessary with a new layer of treads and can be tweaked to adapt to weather and road conditions. Since it is an airless tire, it avoids some traditional tire problems such as deflation or blowouts, low pressure, and safety problems.

Run-flat tires

Run-flat tires are now more popular than ever with some auto manufacturers making them standard in vehicles. There are two primary types of run flat tires systems, the self-supporting system, and the support ring system. In most self-supporting system, the run-flat tire feature reinforced sidewall construction, allowing continued operation after loss of air pressure that will continue supporting the vehicle up to a certain speed and distance. Whereas the ring run flat tire system employ a ring of hard rubber to support the vehicle’s weight in an air loss event. As consumers continue to rate safety high on the list of features that they look for in a vehicle, it is only a matter of time they become the norm. Moreover, run flat tires work reliably with interconnected technologies, which provide alerts as soon as your tires lose pressure.

Electrical tires

Electric tires are high-performance tires that are especially designed for e-Vehicles. The tread’s thinner snipes enable a large rubber contact patch on the road surface, allowing tire to better cope with high levels of torque while maintaining a high performance even in bad weather conditions. The tread design also prevents sound waves thus reduces interior and exterior noise by 40%. The tire cavity shape has been optimized to maintain tread footprint for high performance, supporting the additional vehicle weight from batteries. Also, the material properties of tread of electric tires have been tuned for an ultra-low resistance to extend the vehicle range. The sidewall of the electric tires has been engineered to reduce aerodynamic drag and yield less rotating mass, which results in less energy consumption.

Green Tires

As the eco-friendly wave has been engulfing the automobile industry with electric engines and alternative fuel sources, there have been increase in demand for green tires. Companies are trying to replace the raw material, rubber that is traditionally used manufacturing of tires with  silica. Silica not only replace rubber in treads but also reduces road friction. Additionally, stiffer sidewalls in green tires also help to reduce heat dissipation, which contributes to the long life of the tire. Other sustainable materials used for the production of a variety of tire components include flora-derived latex, orange peels, sunflower oil in lieu of petroleum.

Winter tires

Recent technical advances in tires have improved traction among all tire categories, specifically winter tires. Winter tires provide more flexibility during extremely cold temperatures, allowing more grip to the road. Offering exceptional traction, different tread designs in winter tires allow tires to push snow outward and prevent build-up. The softness of winter tires further creates better grip to avoid tires from sliding on a slippery surface.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Most newer vehicles feature TPMS, which eliminates the guesswork of checking whether your vehicle tire is low on air or flat. The prerequisite knowledge helps to prevent accidents and improve gas mileage. Generally, two types of TPMS are available in almost every car manufactured these days, Direct TPMS and indirect TPMS. Direct TPMS use a wheel-mounted sensor to evaluate air pressure in each tire, which then trigger the dashboard light to indicate the same to the driver. An indirect TPMS uses anti-lock braking system wheel speed sensors to check the air pressure by checking the circumference of tire, which then trigger indicator on your dashboard letting the driver know the same.

According to TechSci Research on “Global Tire Pressure Monitoring System Market By Technology (Direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System & Indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring System), By Vehicle Type (Passenger Vehicle & Commercial Vehicle), By Sales Channel (OEM & Aftermarket), By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2024”, Global tire pressure monitoring system market is projected to grow from $ 4.78 billion in 2018 to $ 13.13 billion by 2024, exhibiting a double-digit CAGR of over 21% during the forecast period, backed by safety regulations and norms imposed by governments across the globe. Automotive Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) are active safety systems that help to monitor vehicle pressure by using pressure sensors. Moreover, the system provides crucial information related to the number of tires that are underinflated. Additionally, properly inflated tires help in reducing the number of accidents which are caused by poor condition of tires. The system displays the real time information to the driver in the form of pictogram.

APAC: An unparalleled territory for the global tire industry

Asia-Pacific accounts for the largest share in the global tire industry and the market looks promising in the region in the coming years. Factors responsible for the exponential growth of tire industry in the region are as follows.

Presence of several global vehicle and automobile industries

Due to low production costs, cheap labour and land prices, many global key market players in tire industry have set up their production base in Asia-Pacific. But the prominent factor responsible for inclination of tire industry in Asia-Pacific region is the easy accessibility of rubber, a commodity used for manufacturing tires. Rubber trees thrive in high temperatures and wet environment and these conditions are found in Southeast Asia where 70% of the world’s rubber output is produced.

Rising demand for vehicles in developing countries

Demand for vehicles, in addition to its utility, has been driven by urban, economic and transportation directed towards middle class—who in turn perceive the car as an essential tool for their social reproduction. Rising personal disposable income, improving lifestyle, and increasing population density are also contributing to the increasing demand for vehicles.

Increased spending on construction vehicles

In various countries, the government is taking some stringent measures for advancing urbanization to accommodate the growing population. With an increased focus on industrialization and enhancing infrastructure, there has been a surge in demand for construction vehicles, ultimately leading to the growth of the tire market in the region.

Technological advancements in vehicles

With the introduction of electric vehicles and other advancements in automobiles in developing countries, there have been a significant growth in tire industry. People are increasingly moving towards convenient, smart, and reliable solutions instead of adapting traditional options.

Challenges for the tire industry in years ahead


Manufacturing tires has monumental environment impacts, ranging from harming fossil fuels to make synthetic rubbers to deformation. As the tire industry is entering a world with finite resources, the market players need to keep sustainability in consideration while developing new models.

Emergence of Chinese brands

Providing low-quality tires at cheap prices, many Chinese brands are giving a tough competition to many well-established tire brands that offer good quality products at relatively higher prices. Thus, brands need to find a solution to attract potential customers by providing viable solutions.

Optimal tire efficiency

Since tires play a crucial role in determining the energy usage in passenger vehicles, improvements in design and sale of more efficient tires can reduce the global fuel consumption by 3-5% and green house gas emissions by 100 million metric tons annually.

According to TechSci Research on, Global Tire Market by Vehicle Type (Passenger Car, Light Commercial Vehicle, Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicle, Two-Wheeler, Three Wheeler and OTR), By Demand Category (OEM vs. Replacement), By Radial Vs Bias, By Region, Competition Forecast & Opportunities, 2013 – 2025F”, the global tire market stood around 2,240 million units in terms of volume and is expected to grow at a moderate pace during forecast period and cross 2,740 million units by 2025. Factors driving demand for automobile tires include rising tire sales from OEMs on the back of increasing production of vehicles with various technological advancements in automotive industry, shifting demand towards better lifespan, light weight, environmental-friendly tires, coupled with growing tire sales in the replacement segment across the globe owing to continuous increase in the vehicle fleet size.