Paradigm Shift in Asian Tire Makers
Market Development, Manager /PCR
It is always better to review past events and experiences before idea generating about future of tire industry. When we take a look at the past decade, emerging tire makers in Asia penetrated to international markets either via greenfield investments or well establishing distribution network. They renovate their product portfolio by taking challenge of fast responding to industry trends. Many locally strong tire makers preferred to take position to protect their own market by utilizing their capacity e‑ectively, therefore creating cost advantage for them versus Chinese competition. Chinese tire makers were the first who lowered the prices and penetrated the market, again, they were the first who challenged the industry by their low priced high performance tires, run flat tires etc. Chinese tire makers were penetrating not only cost oriented 13”-14” rim sizes but also launching new products according to market trends and requirements. Many people had hard times realizing the paradigm shift created by Chinese tire industry and also giving a response was not an easy task for the market considering the things that had happened in past 10 years. Meanwhile, non-Chinese players in the market were searching for a way to compete with China. And obviously, “cost game” is not a right strategy to win, considering the Chinese competitive advantages. As it is easy to state that price reduction on any item will not bring sustainable growth, Asian tire makers started to focus on value added tires; instead of joining the price war.
Low Cost and UHP& RFT tires from China Non-Chinese emerging tire makers are feeling squeezed due to imported “lower priced” and “di‑erentiated tires.”. As competing through lowering price is not an option for Non-Chinese players, a paradigm shift happened within the non-Chinese- emerging tire makers. Nowadays, all tire makers are focusing on “premium” tires with >17” rim sizes, Y speed rating and also run flat tires. Beyond that, many of them realized the importance of being an OE suppliers. Since we are talking about tires, a complex composite product; it is obvious that it is not easy to replace or extend tire portfolio from day to night. In fact, high performance tires and niche applications are challenging the limits of current design, reinforcement, compound and production processes. The only way to implement change to the tires is proceeding “step by step” and proceeding “patiently” in order to a‑ect the portfolio. One needs to observe the tire makers’ process, in order to find the risk – free moment for change. In this line of thinking, Kordsa o‑ers Twixtra, the hybrid cord reinforcement solution, in order to enable tire makers produce ultra-high performance tires.
How it works? Twixtra is the hybrid cord reinforcement solution to industry which is customizable in accordance with the needs of the customer. We observe tire maker’s processes, to be able to have the necessary insight about exposed conditions of cord (tension and temperature memory) through calendaring, building and curing. As a result of this observation process, final cord construction is developed by Twixtra team depending on tire speed rating and target market conditions; more importantly “in accordance with the specific customer needs.” Target application is mainly cap ply of UHP tires with Aramid and Nylon66 (AR/NY) hybrid cords. AR/NY hybrids cord properties are designed according to whole life cycle of the cords starting from calendaring to tire’s drum tests. Not only cord design but also through implementation processes, team will jointly work with tire maker to ensure the performance of Twixtra. Twixtra AR/NY hybrid cords deliver easy processing, high modulus during tire service. In return, production processes will be e‑icient, tire will have better uniformity, less flat spot and high speed endurance results. Twixtra will enable the “paradigm shift” come true.
Tags : aramide
, hybrid cords
, nylon 66
, oe tires
, premium tires
, tire design
, tire technology