Mr. Nikhil Kaitwade, Research Head – Automotive Domain at Fact.MR, discusses about latest trends transforming the European winter tire landscape
Winter tires are gaining immense traction across multiple end users, some of the primary ones being passenger cars and light trucks. Sales of winter tires remain immensely buoyant across regions with harsh weather conditions and stringent regulations. Though the adoption rate of winter tires show a decent growth across Southeast Asia and North America, Europe represents a highly remunerative landscape in terms of winter tire sales. With every other vehicle owner in Europe embracing winter tire, high-scale growth of winter tire market across the key regions of Europe remains undeniable.
Q. How are the regulations vis-à-vis winter tire use fueling adoption rate in Europe?
Handling of European winters is completely different when compared to other regions. Use of winter tires is taken into serious consideration across Europe with country-specific regulations necessitating adoption. For instance, situational winter requirements are applicable in Germany, wherein you get penalized if you are caught on snow without winter maturity. However, in Italy, there are no uniform winter tire requirements. Subsequently, manufacturers are also adapting to the country-specific trends and regulations with an objective of attaining a balanced growth across multiple regions. Particulars as such portray buoyant sales of winter tires in Europe by strong digits.
Q. What are some of the futuristic technologies pervading in the European winter tire space?
The European winter tire market has been witnessing high incremental opportunities on the back of surging popularity, In response to this never-ending demand, manufacturers in Europe have been incorporating technological ameliorations to boost their sales potential. Substantial research efforts have resulted in influx of newer categories, like high-performance variants, which are foreseen to gain high customer favors with respect to superior functionalities.
Studding, a concept that wasn’t favored for a longer time period, is emerging as a new area for investments in the recent years. Promising innovations, such as retractable studs, wet grip, rolling resistance, and so on, are likely to harmonize with the increasing demand and facilitate a balanced supply-demand equation.
Q. What are the strategic efforts by manufacturers to be at the technological forefront?
Being at the technological forefront with leading innovations and expanded R&D infrastructure remains the key to success in European winter tire market. Manufacturing companies are vying to add multimodal units to their existing research and development infrastructure for performance evaluation of their products as per European weather as well as road conditions. Manufacturers are also vying to secure technologies that will foster their capabilities to perform innovative and optimal tests. In doing so, the manufacturers aim to develop winter tires delivering top-notch performances amidst extreme adversities.
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