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Davanti’s Sean Maddocks highlights 2024 tyre industry trends

Sean Maddocks, sales director for the UK and Ireland at Davanti Tyres, has identified the key trends and challenges 2024 may hold for the tyre industry. With years of experience, Maddocks provides his key trade insights to consider this year:

The rise of electric vehicles (EVs)
When electric vehicles first hit the market, there was an initial reaction from some of the leading tyre manufacturers to create an EV product line suitable for EVs and EVs only. However, over the last 12 months and certainly as we head into 2024, there’s been a shift in direction.

Now, in adherence with ETRTO (European Tire and Rim Technical Organization) standards, tyre manufacturers, including Davanti, are producing a portfolio of products which are regulated and certified as suitable for EVs, as well as other vehicle applications, too.

From the independent dealers we work closely with, we know this currently is the right path to go down, as they are not seeing a significant increase in demand for EV-specific tyres from consumers, but are looking more for advice on tyres suitable for their EV.

Sean Maddocks

The evolution of rim sizes
One of the more significant trends which is continuing in the replacement market is the evolution of rim sizes. There is a growing prominence and demand for tyres with rim sizes of 19-inch and above. As a manufacturer, we estimate about 13 per cent of the wholesale replacement tyre market is now 19 inches and above. This market sector has been dominated by the premium manufacturers, but we’re seeing a real shift down in price for tyre sales for those bigger rim sizes.

At the other end of the scale, we are seeing a decrease of 13-15-inch rim sizes across all product groups. Even small vehicles, which would traditionally have been fitted with 13-15 inch wheels as original equipment (OE), are coming out with bigger rim sizes as standard. This is due not only to aesthetic trends, but also vehicle manufacturers focussing their production on higher spec variations of their range due to their manufacturing restrictions caused by component shortages.

Cost of living
We all are aware of the ongoing cost of living crisis. From a dealer’s point of view, customer retention is vital, and this means trying to appease consumers by keeping their products competitive with previous years despite their increase in business-running costs. This has an obvious effect on their margins at a time when their cost base has had significant increases.

As independent garages are becoming renowned for building great relationships with customers, in turn, this trust is allowing dealers to recommend alternative products which offer great quality, but at a more consumer-friendly price point. This is where Davanti Tyres can help dealers, thanks to the business model we run [in the UK and Ireland], which offers dealers a more competitive price point and incentives which help them with their business running costs.

We work with our customers to maintain – or in many cases increase – the profitability, without them having to increase their price to their valued customer base. As a result, dealers can offer a competitive price point and a trusted product to their customers, whilst making the same (or increased) margins.

Research and Development
Across the board, all manufacturers are putting an emphasis on their research and development credentials. In such a competitive market, at Davanti Tyres we are keen to ensure we continue to build confidence with dealers that all products Davanti brings to market offer the same performance and reliability as other leading manufacturers.

A good example of how we lead the way in our R&D can be seen in the research and development that went into our Protoura Sport DSP Runflat tyre, launched mid-2023. The tyre has been developed and tested to vehicle manufacturer OE standards, equal to a premium runflat tyre in terms of safety.

However, the Davanti team went above and beyond the standard requirements for runflat testing to ensure optimal performance. You can find out more here.

This is just one example but as an industry, we are seeing tyres being put through their paces at several leading facilities and in more and more ways. This does add pressure to make sure, as a brand, your testing processes are innovative but fundamentally this will only be good for consumers and tyre safety.

Davanti’s future
Reflecting on 2023, Davanti Tyres has transitioned from selling consistently to approximately 70 countries to close to 90. It has been a tremendous year for growth internationally, and as we look at the next 12 months, we will continue to focus on ensuring that as we grow, we partner with the top distributors and enterprises which command a lot of respect and volume within their markets.

As we progress through 2024, it will be interesting to see how the industry adapts to current – or new – challenges and trends.