Companies in this industry distribute new and used tires and tubes for passenger and commercial vehicles. Major companies include American Tire Distributors and TBC Corporation (both based in the US), as well as Bond International (UK), Dynamic Tire (Canada), and PPC Asia (Philippines).
Worldwide tire shipments are expected to increase by 4.3 percent per year through 2017, to 2.9 billion units, according to Freedonia Group. Demand is expected to be strongest in the Asia/Pacific region, where the use of of motor vehicles is increasing.
The US tire wholesaler industry includes about 1,300 companies with combined annual revenue of about $25 billion.
Demand depends on consumer income and driving volume. The profitability of individual companies is linked to merchandising and marketing. Large wholesalers have economies of scale in distribution, support of national accounts, and advertising and promotion. Small companies can compete by specializing in types of tires or applications (such as for farm equipment or motorcycles) or by offering superior service and support. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 70 percent of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Tire wholesalers sell new replacement automobile tires (60 percent of revenue); new replacement truck, bus, and industrial tires (25 percent); and used or retreaded tires (less than 10 percent). (Original tires for new cars are sold directly to car companies, called OEMs, by tire manufacturers.) Some wholesalers also sell wheels and associated parts. About 70 percent of consumer...