Amid thriving anti-China sentiments following clashes between Indian and Chinese armies in Ladakh, data shows that imports of tyres from China recorded a fall during the first quarter of FY21.
Tyre companies in Thailand and Vietnam reaped benefits of the hostilities, snatching away market share from Chinese tyre companies.
As per data shared by the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA), Chinese tyre companies have lost market share in almost every segment of the vehicle market. Almost all of the demand is from aftermarket (secondary market) as most vehicle makers in India source tyres from local tyre companies.
In passenger car radials (PCR), which accounts for the largest share in the overall tyre import volume in India, China’s share dropped to 38 percent in Q1FY21 from 44 percent recorded in the same period last year. During the same period, Vietnam’s share jumped to 18 percent from 5 percent.
China’s loss appears to be the steepest in trucks and bus radials (TBR). Its share in Q1FY21 crashed to 27 percent from 43 percent in the same period last year. Thailand became the new leader in the segment with its share rising to 49 percent from 42 percent. Japan, Vietnam, and Brazil also benefited from China’s loss.
Motorcycle tyre is the only segment where China managed to improve its share, but the gain remains very marginal. During Q1FY21 Chinese tyre companies managed to improve market share to 5 percent from 4 percent. Vietnam has stranglehold of the segment with a share of 67 percent.
The coronavirus pandemic-led lockdown, however, did cripple tyre imports during Q1FY21. As per the data, the value of tyres imported by India was 44 percent less in April-June, compared to the same period last year. Tyre imports slumped to Rs 395 crore from Rs 703 crore.
PCR tyre imports slumped 59 percent to 608,890 units during Q1FY21 as against 1.48 million units recorded in the same period last year. TBR tyre imports fell 40 percent to 100,000 units as against 166,000 units. Motorcycle tyre imports fell by 67 percent to 185,000 units as compared to 568,000 units.
While segments such as commercial vehicles and three-wheelers are yet to come out of the woods, other segments like passenger vehicles and two-wheelers are showing signs of demand recovery. Farm vehicles like tractors have shown the best growth so far since lifting of the lockdown.
With production at almost pre-Covid levels, tyre companies and vehicle manufacturers are busy clearing output bottlenecks which are mainly related to supply chain and availability of raw material.