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Where is the growth in the tire industry?

Just-Auto has an interesting interview with James Bailey, Goodyear’s corporate communications manager.

An excerpt:

just-auto: Overall, we are seeing the mature tyre industry growing at about 3% a year, but I guess there are some tyre segments growing faster than others. Which tyre segments are the fastest growing? Is it the performance markets of W, Y, Z and 4×4? James Bailey: Yes, the main growth is in high performance fitments. A 17 or 18 inch tyre was supercar territory in the early 90s – now it is the main tyre for the Mondeo market. Our fastest growing area is RunOnFlat tyres. With standard fitments across the BMW and Mini ranges, and option choices for many Ford, GM, and Mercedes models, the growth has been rapid.

And later in the interview.

James Bailey: A 6% cut in rolling resistance equates to a 1 percent cut in fuel consumption. Goodyear is working on the development of an ultra low rolling resistance RunOnFlat tyre with environmentally friendly materials. On this project Goodyear is working in close cooperation with two research partners: The Italian research company Novamont and our OE partners, BMW. One of the project’s main tasks is to develop a new ‘bio’ filler as an alternative to traditional fillers used in tyres. This new filler, which will be made out of renewable resources like corn starch, may have a major environmental impact and lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions during its production process.
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