AKRON — Global demand for commercial tires by fleets is expected to grow nearly 9% a year through 2026, according to a new study from Smithers Group.
The new study, The Future of Fleet Tires to 2026, puts the value of commercial tires (light and medium truck/bus applications) at $64.6 billion this year. Demand should grow 8.7% a year through 2026 to $97.8 billion, Smithers researchers forecast.
The report highlights the importance of fleet tire contracts, as the tire industry looks to recover from the "radical" COVID-19 pandemic-related drop in demand for passenger vehicle tires in 2020, Smithers said.
Fleet tire applications also provide a vital forum for manufacturers to introduce innovative smart tire concepts and extend their profitability by offering fleet- management software and service contracts.
Related to COVID-19, commercial haulage became an essential service last year, Smithers said, supplemented by the growth of smaller urban delivery vehicles for the e-commerce segment.
In 2021, global demand for tires from fleets will grow nearly 5% to 413 million units, up from 398.2 million in 2020, according to Smithers. Recovering to volumes seen in 2019 will not happen before 2023, the report adds.
Demand for light commercial fleet tires will account for much of overall growth, Smithers said, since trucking and mass-transit are mature markets. Such demand will account for nearly two-thirds of incremental unit growth over the next five years, Smithers said, as total consumption worldwide is forecast to approach 634 million units by 2026.
The market for connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) transport in fleet operations is a major strategic growth topic. These areas will lay the foundation for the larger shifts in mobility that will define the evolution of transportation and tires through 2040, the study concludes.
Among the topics covered:
- Key drivers and trends, including macroeconomic environment, transportation and vehicle ownership mode trends;
- Mobility as a service;
- Technology developments, including looks at the various vehicle and tire types;
- Fleet tire market by type and region; and
- Opportunities for tire companies and suppliers, including chapters on related technology opportunities such as diagnostic equipment and systems and distribution/service.
The study is available for $6,500 from Smithers.