By Miles Moore, Senior Washington reporter
ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 20, 2014) — The rise of Chinese tires in U.S. and world markets is due to many forces and their impact will continue barring any government actions to stop it, according to Walt Weller, vice president for strategic markets, China Manufacturers Alliance L.L.C./Double Coin.
In the truck tire market alone, Tier 1 tires are no longer the most profitable choice for truck fleet managers, Mr. Weller told dealers Aug. 20 during a presentation at the 2014 International Tire Exhibition and Conference (ITEC) in Orlando.
“The quality gap has narrowed dramatically,” Mr. Weller said. “The perception of Chinese tires is changing, just as it did for Japanese tires in the 1980s.”
Supply issues also have played into China’s surge in the U.S. tire market, according to Mr. Weller.
“Major brand allocations have caused fleets to seek alternatives,” he said. “Major brands no longer offer the best cost-benefit package to end-users.”
China now supplies 55 percent of global demand for truck tires, and theoretically could capture 85 percent of that market, Mr. Weller said.
ITEC 2014 for Tire Dealers/Auto Service Professionals runs through Aug. 22 at the Caribe Royale Conference Center in Orlando.