Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. retained the No. 8 ranking with sales of $5.26 billion, ahead of China's Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd.
Considering Yokohama's pending acquisition of Trelleborg Wheel Systems and the $1 billion-plus in revenue it's expected to bring, Yokohama will be on even footing with Hankook for the No. 7 spot after the fiscal 2023 year.
Cheng Shin Rubber/Maxxis International remained at No. 10 despite a sales gain of just 2% over 2020. Maxxis also was affected by the imposition of elevated import duties on passenger and light truck tires from Taiwan and Thailand.
For the annual Top 75 ranking, Tire Business rates the tire makers on their revenue from the sale of tires they have manufactured in order to achieve a more equitable apples-to-apples comparison.
Excluded are 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, for example, report hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in revenue from their respective captive retail networks, which generate measurable shares of their revenue from automotive-service-related activities and sales of tire brands other than their own.
The average operating income/sales revenue margin among 25 leading tire makers last year was 9.4%, up nearly two points versus fiscal 2020 and back nearly on par with 2019.
Two of the 25 companies tracked for this report reported operating losses last year — Kumho Tire Co. Inc. and Nankang Rubber — but that was more than offset by all the others that reported improved income for the year. See the chart on page 14 for details.
Looking ahead to the 2023 Global Tire Ranking, there is no significant merger/acquisition activity among the leading tire makers in 2021 that will affect the rankings.
Yokohama Rubber's pending acquisition of Trelleborg Wheel Systems, however, will boost YRC's revenue by $1 billion or more once it's fully integrated. The deal is expected to be finalized before year-end, so Yokohama won't see the full impact of that acquisition until fiscal 2023.
Goodyear's position will be strengthened in next year's rankings, based on a full year of consolidation of Cooper Tire's business.
Besides being No. 1 worldwide in tire sales revenue, Michelin is the clear sales leader in Europe, where Bridgestone is No. 3 behind Continental A.G., according to Tire Business' analysis of the major companies' regional sales breakdowns.
Bridgestone remains the No. 1 tire company in Asia — its "home" market — as well as in North America.
Michelin appears to be the most well-balanced, with its sales spread more equally among the three major regions — Americas, Asia/Pacific and Europe — than its major competitors.
The analysis also shows how important North America is to multiple non-U.S.-based companies, including Bridgestone, which derives roughly 45% of its global tire business revenue there.
With its acquisition of Cooper, Goodyear has become much more North America-centric, with 55% or more of its global revenue from the region.
Other major tire makers that rely heavily on North America for their sales revenue include Toyo Tire Corp., which derives nearly 60% its tire from business in North America, while Hankook Tire and Nexen Tire generate nearly a third of their revenue there.
Thirty of the companies in the top 75 are from China, including three among the top 20 — Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd. (No. 8), Linglong Group Co. Ltd. (No. 13) and Sailun Group Co. Ltd. (No. 14).
Other countries represented in the ranking are: India (seven companies); the U.S. (five); Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (four each); Italy and Turkey (three each); Iran, Russia and Vietnam (two each); and one each based in Argentina, Belarus, England, Finland, France, Germany, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand.
Collectively, the top 10 tire companies accounted for $107 billion in world tire industry last year, based on Tire Business' number, or roughly 61% of the total, on par with the 2021 ranking.
The average sales per employee for the 24 publicly traded companies that provided employment data was $216,028, up 12.6% from the 2021 figure.
Nokian Tyres P.L.C. had the highest sales per employee at $412,228, ahead of Toyo Tire Corp. at $347,259 and Balkrishna Industries as $336,327.