Low profile tires have lower aspect ratios, generally less than 50 and shorter sidewalls as compared to standard tires. Low profile tires have larger treads and are stiff and are made from advanced rubber compounds and additives.
Increase in demand for enhanced ride handling, superior traction, and rapid response while driving is boosting the low profile tire market. Demand for powerful and sports or performance vehicles, such as SUVs, is rising owing to an increase in young buyers of vehicles. Increase in sales of SUVs and performance sedans is driving the low profile tire market. Low profile tires have low rolling resistance and hence, offer superior fuel economy. Regulatory boards such as the European Union have started labelling tires according to fuel economy, grip, noise, and emission. Enactment of similar mandates globally is projected to fuel the adoption of low profile tires. Rise in concern about vehicle safety and technologies such as ‘Run-Flat’ technology is boosting the demand for low profile tires. These tires contain lesser amount of rubber and thus, enables the use of a larger-sized wheel. Rise in demand for larger wheels, in order to enhance esthetic appearance, is expected to drive the demand for low profile tires.
Low profile tires are expensive, generate more noise, and undergo more wear due to wider contact area. Therefore, several consumers prefer cost-effective standard tires, which in turn is restraining the low profile tire market
The global low profile tire market can be segmented based on rim size, vehicle, sales channel, and region. Based on rim size, the low profile tire market can be segregated into 13 inch-15 inch, 16 inch-20 inch, and above 21 inch. The 16 inch-20 inch segment accounts for a notable share of the low profile tire market owing to high sales of vehicles that have rim sizes between 16 to 20 inches.
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Based on vehicle type, the global low profile tire market can be classified into passenger vehicle, light commercial vehicle, and heavy commercial vehicle. Low profile tires are highly preferred for passenger vehicles in order to enhance driving comfort and hence, the passenger vehicle segment held a notable share of the market. Tire manufacturers such as Continental AG have developed low profile tires for light & heavy duty applications with higher load carrying capacity. Penetration of low profile tires is considerably low in light & heavy commercial vehicles; however, it is expected to rise considerably during the forecast period owing to advancements in rubber technology.
In terms of sales channel, the global low profile tire market can be segregated into OEM and aftermarket. Low profile tires are usually OE fitted by automakers and currently, the OEM segment holds a higher share of the market. The aftermarket segment is projected to expand significantly as several consumers prefer to use the OE similar low profile fitment in the aftermarket. Several enthusiasts with standard tire fitment in OE are opting for low profile tires in the aftermarket for enhanced ride handling, which in turn is boosting the aftermarket segment.
Based on region, the global high performance tire market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Europe and North America accounted for a major share of the global low profile tire market, owing to consumer affordability and high sales of premium vehicles in these regions.
Key players operating in the global low profile tire market are Bridgestone Corporation, Continental AG, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Michelin, Pirelli & C.S.p.A., Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd., Yokohoma Rubber Co. Ltd., and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company.
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