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A look at the tire market in India

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Greater China isn't the only region in Asia with a booming tire market. The tire market in India appears to be on the fast track to growth as well, according to a recent report from Frost & Sullivan.

The Indian tire aftermarket grew to $1.4 billion during 2005 and is expected to reach $3.4 billion by 2012.

The commercial tire segment in India is growing at a particularly fast rate due to the increased movement of raw materials and other goods, says Forsy & Sullivan Research Analyst S. Satish Kumar.

"The commercial segment is witnessing particularly high replacement rates due to widespread overloading of vehicles and improper vehicle maintenance."

Most commercial tires used in India are bias-ply and are often subjected to overload conditions and poor maintenance practices, note Frost & Sullivan officials.

"But in a positive note for the aftermarket, recent efforts by various state governments to implement strict checks on commercial vehicles to prevent overloading cases is bound to lead to a decline in demand for bias tires.

"Radial tires could witness higher demand as fleet owners and State Transport Corporations -- which own the majority of commercial vehicles in India -- realize their advantages such as longer life, lower fuel consumption, improved safety and ride quality."

According to Frost & Sullivan, the Indian government is in the process of formulating automotive industry standards which will be applicable for tires used on both commercial and consumer vehicles, whether they are domestically produced or made outside of India. Standards are expeced to go into effect sometime next year.

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