AKRON (Aug. 28, 2003) — France's Group Michelin retained the title of No. 1 tire maker for 2002 ahead of Japan's Bridgestone Corp. and Akron's Goodyear, based on Tire Business' analysis of the companies' fiscal 2002 financial reports and a comparison of their tire-specific sales.
Based on data gathered for TB's 2003 Global Tire Report, both Michelin and Bridgestone posted slight gains in tire sales last year, to $13.8 billion and $13.5 billion, respectively.
Michelin benefited from a change in the euro/dollar exchange rate; sales volume rose 3.5 percent, but revenues in euros fell 0.8 percent from 2001. Goodyear's tire sales slipped slightly to $12.3 billion, largely on sales losses in North America.
The Big Three tire makers controlled 56 percent of the global tire market, estimated by Tire Business at $70.6 billion last year.
Continental A.G., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Pirelli S.p.A., Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. were fourth through eighth in the ranking, as in 2001.
South Korean tire maker Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd. claimed the ninth spot ahead of Japan's Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., despite a 2-percent sales gain by the Japanese tire maker. Toyo in turn was only a fraction of a percentage point ahead of Hankook Tire Co. Ltd., whose sales advanced 16.3 percent over 2001.
Full details will be published in the Sept. 1 issue of Tire Business.