Expect Another 15+ Years of Steady SUV/CUV Tire Sales
Consumers love their sports utility and crossover vehicles, and tire manufacturers say they’re working on original equipment orders that will continue to propel that segment of the tire business. Look for SUV and CUV replacement tires to remain a big part of your business through at least 2030.
And while the popularity of SUVs and CUVs continues, tire makers say there’s continuing pressure for them to develop tires that match the vehicles’ versatility. Consumers want comfortable smooth rides, but also expect their vehicles to perform when they pack it with a heavy load.
“The focus at the OE is very heavy on the SUV/CUV market,” says David Colletti, vice president of OE in the NAFTA region for Pirelli Tire North America Inc. “As the market continues to grow for utility vehicles, we see more emphasis on these vehicles over sedans or other typical cars.”
Here’s some proof. In May 2014, for the first time, new vehicle registrations for SUVs and CUVs outnumbered those of sedans in the U.S., according to IHS Automotive. From May 2009 to May 2014, SUV and CUV registrations grew from 31.4% to 36.5% of the market.
It’s those numbers that are driving more tire manufacturers to focus on this segment. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is gunning for SUV and CUV replacement orders.
“The CUV consumer expects quiet all-season performance capabilities, yet durable performance on a multitude of terrains with the ability to carry the cargo capacity these vehicles are designed for,” says Bruce Sanborn, product segment manager for Cooper. “The CUV is an all-purpose utility vehicle, and the demands placed upon the tires are great, and the ability to serve this market has expanded Cooper’s design and technology innovation.”
Read more about how current OE tire orders are driving the future of SUV and CUV tire sales in this feature from Modern Tire Dealer’s October edition.