North American Commercial Vehicle Tire Retreading Market, Forecast to 2025
The North American commercial vehicle retreading market is expected to grow marginally to 15.1 million units by 2025 from 14.5 million units in 2016. Some of the key factors currently influencing the retreading market are improved quality of tread life, high supply of casings, increasing labor costs, and shortage of skilled technicians. One key risk faced by the retreading industry is quality improvements in Chinese tires. Moreover, consumers, particularly in the small/medium fleet category do not fully understand the cost-benefit analysis of retreads. Although on the positive side labor costs are on the rise but are not expected to have any significant impact on retreading. Casings being a fundamental part of retreading are in good supply currently. Prices of rubber and other raw materials have remained stable in recent years and are not expected to change much in the short term.
On the regulatory side, import tariffs on new tires could be a considered again if further evidence of low-cost tires causing material injury in the US tire market as well as labor rates is expected to increase gradually due to policy expectations from new administration. Tariffs on new Chinese tire imports have been rejected by the US ITC owing to evidence supporting claims that the CV tire industry has not suffered material injury because of Chinese tires. Additionally, Chinese tires volumes are expected to remain stable in the CV tire market with no threat of decline in the short term. New Chinese tires, on an average, are half the cost of premium new tires. Without the proposed import tariffs, retread tires will continue to be undercut by new low cost tires. Cost competitiveness of retread tires will be vital in the long term.
Despite some of the challenges, retreading offers lower cost per mile to fleets in the process improving their return on investment along with being more environmental friendly by promoting usage of waste. Retreaded tires outperform new Chinese tires, in terms of cost/mile, at any price point with Tier-I tires showing the greatest return on investment. Tier-I and Tier-II tires will take 2 retreads while Tier-III will take 3 retreads before outperforming a Chinese tire in terms of cost. Average price of new replacement tires are forecast to increase slightly as commodity prices return to normal levels. Average price of Tier-III or budget retreads is expected to grow faster than Tier-I and II, as these tires incorporate quality enhancements.
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