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New Reports On U.K. Tyre Market Size

One thing that almost everybody agrees on in the U.K. tyre industry is the lack of readily available, meaningful statistics on the size and value of the tyre market.

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The NTDA has teamed up with research company GfK to produce the "World of Tyres" – an exclusive members’ newsletter, which includes a regular review of retail sales data on the passenger car, 4X4 and light commercial tyre market.

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The new information service is designed to provide NTDA members with a reliable source of sales information on the market from information collected by GfK in their new market tracker programme looking at retail sales throughout the country. This is the first time that accurate, regular sales data has been collected from the trade and answers some of the vital questions about our market. The initial report estimates that the total car replacement market in the U.K. is circa 24m – somewhat smaller than industry estimates that range from 25M to 29M units.

In fact, the lack of a single, authoritative source of statistics is demonstrated by a recent report from Continental, which says that the 2007 replacement tyre market for cars, 4x4s and vans will be 31 million tyres; nearly 1% up on 2006.

Continental notes that S- and T-rated sales continue to decline (down 14%), while high performance sales are up 7.6% (V rating) and 10.9% (W, Y and Z). A comparatively recent factor in the car tyre market is that of run-flat tyres, sales of which are estimated to be up by half a million units, says Conti.

4×4 tyre sales look set to top two million units in 2007, with the main growth in on-road tyres and speed ratings of V upwards. Van tyres have also shown growth, due largely to a number of new vans being launched over the past 16 months, whose tyres are now coming up for replacement.

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One final statistic from the Conti report; the biggest selling size in the U.K. is 205/55R16V and, looking ahead, the company predicts that there will be significant growth in 17- and 18-inch wheels as vehicle manufacturers choose larger wheels for larger and more powerful cars.

Going back to the NTDA/GfK initiative, anything which adds to our knowledge of the market is to be welcomed and the NTDA has long championed the need for better market statistics, with NTDA National Chair Peter Gaster commenting: "Hopefully the GfK research will give us much more dependable information with which to develop our market."

All the top retail networks provide confidential sales information to the research and several leading tyre companies are already getting detailed information about their brand performance and also the performance of their competitors through receiving the report. (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)

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