Powered by the increasing need to ensure vehicle efficiency, airless tire market is gaining a remarkable momentum in the automotive vertical. The industry amassed an overall revenue of USD 120 million in 2016, driven by the increasing accidents resulting from punctures and blowouts and the damaging vibrations felt by heavy vehicles. For the record, airless or non-pneumatic tires offer a safer option as they are not supported by air pressure, rendering them invulnerable to punctures, regular wear and tear and the overall maintenance cost that the pneumatic tires are prone to. Made of a rigid and complex structure, airless tires allow for increased traction at high speeds, low pressure on the tires, improved shock absorption and reduced rotating weight in comparison to traditional rubber tires.
U.S. Airless Tires Market, By Product, 2016 & 2024, (Units)
A multitude of cost and characteristic based advantages is anticipated to induce growth for airless tire industry in the coming years with a disruption of sorts in the product and competitive landscape. In terms of market size, the fraternity is expected to surpass 139 thousand units by 2024. A critical factor promoting the proliferation of airless tires industry is the stimulated production of military and heavy commercial vehicles in the Asia Pacific. In fact, APAC is estimated to account for over 34% of the global airless tire industry share by 2024. Not to mention, the region’s dominance in the airless tire market is also prominently backed by the rapid urbanization trends across the emerging economies such as India and China.
Speaking of the competitive scenario, tire companies worldwide have already shifted their focus towards the development of airless tire with companies like Bridgestone, Michelin and Hankook making the product landscape of airless tire industry rather dynamic. In this regard, emphasized by the initiatives taken by tire manufacturers to develop specialized tires and encourage their commercialization, airless tire produced using recyclable plastic materials is predicted to attract the maximum demand. As per estimates airless tires market share from plastic is anticipated to exceed USD 135 million by 2024.
Non-pneumatic tires are now commonly seen in the replacement market and sold for lawnmowers, backhoes and other utility vehicles. The pioneer in airless tire for utility vehicles, Michelin, has launched the Michelin X Tweel UTV 26x9N14 airless radial tire for use in vehicles like the Polaris Ranger, Kawasaki Mule and other UTVs that are exposed to jagged terrains and hostile elements. These tires enable continuous mobility during long journeys or in remote areas and ensure supreme traction with the surface. Micheline has been developing the X Tweel range for years now and expects to make non-pneumatic tires for cars and two wheelers in the near future. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has also recently released a non-pneumatic tire which is used as a replacement in lawnmowers.
Although like other upcoming markets, the initial cost of setting up airless tire manufacturing facilities is high, affecting their end prices. This fact compiled with low awareness of the products is currently shackling the segment growth. As airless tires are not yet widely commercialized, OEMs will maintain up to 94% share of market till 2024, according to Global Market Insights, Inc. However, with amplified production and marketing strategies, the aftermarket sector will show a healthy rate of progress. As per estimates, airless tire market size from aftermarket will register a CAGR of 10.5% over 2017-2024.
According to The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, around 24 million commercial vehicles were produced in 2017 alone. Increased rate of infrastructure development will boost the production of HCVs and LCVs that need to counter rugged surfaces and heavy loads on a regular basis, giving impetus to the airless tires market. Military vehicles are expected to add to a significant demand for airless tire, primarily in the U.S., which is indeed a prominent hub for the industry giants. All in all, with a highly innovative product pipeline, the commercialization potential of airless tire market can be quoted as humongous. In terms of global renumeration portfolio, the worldwide airless tires industry is anticipated to surpass USD 200 million by 2024.