AKRON — In a year dominated by supply chain issues, elevated import duties and recovering demand, companies continued to look to branding as ways to differentiate themselves and build equity.
According to Tire Business research, more than 425 tire brands are available in North America, distributed by 130-plus companies, including 20 with a manufacturing base in the U.S.
These companies' flag and associate brands represent approximately three-fourths of the passenger and light truck tire volumes sold in North America, according to Tire Business' analysis of U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) data and import statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Of the remainder, 35 are subsidiaries of, or have exclusive distribution rights to, the brands they import and distribute.
Of the 425-plus brands identified by Tire Business, 20 or so are considered new or relaunched in the U.S.
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In addition to the market dynamics listed at the beginning of this article, companies large and small have had to deal with multiple price increases throughout the past year.
For the most part, companies surveyed for this special section said customers have been "accepting" of the price increases, but with supplies limited by both manufacturing anomalies and supply-chain snags, buyers have resigned themselves to taking what they can to keep inventories at least partially full.