Tire Business ranks the tire makers based on their revenue from the sale of tires they've manufactured, excluding items such as third-party sales of steel cord, synthetic rubber or carbon black, as well as estimates for non-tire items such as auto-service-related revenue at company-owned retail stores.
Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear and Continental A.G., for example, report hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in revenue from their respective captive retail networks. In addition, Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear derive a measurable amount of revenue from the sale of synthetic rubber or other raw or semi-processed materials to third parties.
Bridgestone's position at the top is solidified by minority ownership stakes it holds in two other Top 75 companies — a 43.6-percent stake in Turkey's BRISA/Bridgestone-Sabanci Tire Mfg. (No. 37 with 2016 sales of $561.5 million) and a 14.6-percent stake in Finland's Nokian Tyres P.L.C. (No. 19 with $1.38 billion in tire manufacturing-related sales).
Overall, 10 of the 22 publicly traded companies outlined in this report suffered tire business sales declines in 2016 vs. 2015, including a double-digit drop by Bridgestone.
A year ago nine of the 21 companies profiled reported fiscal 2015 declines.
At the other end of the spectrum, India's Apollo Tyres Ltd. and J.K. Tyre & Industries Ltd. registered double-digit sales gains, 10.3 and 10.2 percent, respectively.
Apollo attributed its sales gain to international growth — up 36 percent in Europe and 132 percent in other overseas markets. JK Tyre's growth was aided to an extent by its acquisition of Cavendish Industries Ltd., an Indian company active in the two- and three-wheeler tire segment.
Collectively, the top 10 tire companies accounted for slightly more than 64 percent of the world's tire sales last year, based on Tire Business' numbers — up about a point from the 2015-16 ranking, the third straight year that the top tier has defended or improved its position vis-à-vis the rest of the global competitors.
Continental remains comfortably positioned at No. 4 with sales of $10.8 billion, ahead of Pirelli Tyre S.p.A.'s $6.38 billion.