Click here to read the
Yokohama Rubber: Commercial Tire Market Overview
Santa Ana, CA - Thanks to a surging economy, the commercial tire market is on a roll. With a new commercial tire plant opening in Mississippi in October, Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) is poised to increase market share. Rick Phillips, vice president of sales, explains current market developments and how they will affect the industry.
Question: The commercial tire market was up last year. Why?
Rick Phillips: In 2014, the market was up eight to 10 percent over 2013. It all starts with the economy. The stock market is doing well, which has led to increased consumer confidence and spending. When consumers buy things, they get moved by truck, and that's good for our industry. We're definitely back to pre-recession levels.
Question: What improved sectors of the economy have most impacted the trucking industry?
Phillips: Manufacturing in the U.S. is now more attractive, which is good because products get hauled more. Housing has also been on the upswing. Any time somebody buys a house, they purchase many things that go with it, and that spurs spending. General road construction, fracking and oil drilling have increased, too.
Question: When the economy is rolling, do OEM truck sales go up?
Phillips: OEM sales is one of the indicators for market strength. If you're a trucking company, the only reason you would buy a truck is to move freight. Right now, OEM sales, especially Class 8, are close to all-time highs. The North American fleet of Class 8 trucks is seven- to eight-years old on average. It should be below six-years old to lower maintenance costs.
Question: Will the commercial tire market be able to sustain eight- to 10-percent annual growth?
Phillips: It's difficult to keep growing at that pace, so it might slow some. But 2015 still looks good for the industry and Yokohama.
Question: What are some of the hot topics that will affect the industry and Yokohama?
Phillips: Government regulations will play a big role this year, and fleets everywhere are dealing with a huge driver shortage problem. Some fleets are not buying the equipment they want because they don't have enough drivers.
Question: What is the biggest change you've seen in the market the last five years?
Phillips: It's the continued chase of more fuel-efficient products and trying to reduce greenhouse gases. The challenge is trying to achieve a lower rolling resistance without sacrificing tire life. It's tough because if you make the tread shallower it is more fuel efficient but the tire also wears out quicker.
Question: What opportunities exist for tire technology development?
Phillips: There are several different ways to make tires more fuel-efficient. You can simply take rubber off the tread and/or change the rubber compound. There are certain things you can do with the casing construction that makes it roll over easier. We have some innovative things we do with curing the tire with regards to length of time and the temperature at which we cure it. The biggest challenge is trying to stay ahead of the technology curve. You want a tire that's fuel-efficient, lasts a long time and is going to be retreadable. A good example of fuel-efficient tire technology is our 703ZL drive tire. It's 32/32nds - the deepest drive tire on the road, and it's also the deepest SmartWay-verified drive tire in the world.
Question: How is Yokohama staying ahead of this technology curve?
Phillips: We have R&D departments and test facilities all over the world. It's just engineers looking at anything and everything possible. The U.S. is a very complicated, competitive market compared to other markets in the world. There's a lot of competition, which ultimately is good for the fleet because they're presented with multiple options. Without competition, you probably wouldn't see the tires that have been developed and the technology used.
Question: How do tires affect a fleet's costs?
Phillips: Tires are usually the second-largest expense for a fleet behind fuel. We work with fleets to help them set up good, proactive tire maintenance programs. If they catch problems in the yard, that eliminates the costs of the truck sitting on the side of the road. We work with our dealers to help fleets lower their costs through tires.
Question: How does Yokohama educate fleets with its maintenance program?
Phillips: Every fleet has a different level of needs. Usually, they're looking for really small incremental gains that can make a big difference in the bottom line. It could be with alignments, balance, air pressure or the tread designs they're running. There are a lot of variables that we have to evaluate to help them close the gaps.
Question: What other issues do fleets and independent truckers face?
Phillips: A new challenge is being compliant with all the recent government regulations. Trucking is a very competitive business with razor-thin margins. It's all about delivering freight at the lowest cost and as efficiently as possible.
Question: How are low-cost, offshore competitors affecting the U.S. market?
Phillips: There's a lot of the lower-priced, third-tier product in the market that looks like first-tier product, but doesn't perform like it. The challenge with fleets is convincing them. One of the problems with these tires is they're not very consistent, especially when it comes to retreading. One batch is fine and retread well, but the next isn't. To come up with a consistent product that's going to perform the same every time is not easy for many of these companies. Yokohama chooses to take the quality route. We invest in our equipment and technology to make sure we produce a consistent, quality product.
Question: What trend have you seen developing in the commercial tire industry?
Phillips: There's a big shift in regional products due to the increase in intermodal business. There are short freight trips at the front and back ends of a rail haul. A product goes from a truck haul to a rail car to a truck, as opposed to one truck taking it across the country. There's a big demand for shorter-distance and higher scrub tires right now, so we're building better products to fit that niche.
Question: What's the latest update on the new Mississippi (YTMM) factory?
Phillips: The construction on the plant, installation of machineries and equipment and planned recruitment for the required jobs are all near completion. We're on target to roll out the first pre-production tire in May and mass production will start in October. Volume will be low at first, accelerate, then really ramp up in 2016.
Question: Where do you see growth opportunity coming?
Phillips: We're going to target national fleets and increase our penetration. We have a very good truck stop network that we're going to keep growing. Our OEM presence is also going to grow a lot. And we have the best Servicing Dealer Network in the industry....bar none.
Question: How is the new Western Region Distribution Center in Chino, California, going to benefit Yokohama and its dealers?
Phillips: It's almost double the square footage of what we had, and it's going to make us more efficient in distributing tires. The new software helps us forecast our sales better, which drives better production orders and puts the tires in the right warehouses. Our customers can expect to get inventory much faster thanks to tires being made at the Mississippi plant and because of the new DC's warehouse management system.
Question: When YTMM is completely operational, how much of YTC's product mix will come from Mississippi versus a plant outside the U.S.?
Phillips: By the time Mississippi is running, about 60 percent of the truck tires will come from the plant. We're already talking about bringing on Phase Two, which will produce an extra million tires a year.
Question: What new products have you launched lately?
Phillips: We have three new tires currently on sale: the MY627W Spec-2, the 101ZL Spec-2 and the 709ZL. The MY627W Spec-2 is our all-position waste tire - very durable, with sturdy casing and a cut- and chip-resistant tread compound. The Spec-2 means we've reworked it to where it accepts the wider retreads. Best of all, it has a six-year warranty with unlimited retreading - best in the industry. The 709ZL is a fuel-efficient, shallow drive tire. We launched the 295/75/22.5 at Mid-America Trucking Show last year and now have three new sizes: 11R/22.5, 11/24.5 and 285/75/24.5. It's for over-the-road, high-speed, long-haul - a demanding and growing industry segment. It also has a very retreadable casing. The 101ZL Spec-2 is an improvement of our 101ZL - absolutely one of the best steer tires on the market. We've made some enhancements on it to give it a flatter footprint and increase the elongation in the rubber compound. It reduces cuts, chips and tears and still delivers long mileage with smooth even wear. We're also adding 16-ply tires in three sizes. The 295/75/22.5 16-ply has a 7,100 pound capacity, which is better than the 6,600 pounds the standard 16-ply (or load range H) features.
Question: Is Yokohama rolling out any other new commercial truck tires in 2015?
Phillips: We do have some more products on the drawing board: a new super-regional product, some more ultra-wide base products and an open-shoulder drive tire.
Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing an extensive sales network throughout the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company's complete product line includes tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications.
Tire Cord, Tire Fabrics Market To Grow At A 5.8 Percent CAGR From 2016 To 2023
Global Natural Rubber Market In State Of Oversupply
Global Reclaimed Rubber Market Expected To Reach $6.32 Billion By 2025
Polyisobutylene Market Predicted To Grow
RMA Predicts Slight Growth For U.S. Tire Shipments
Rivalry In China, The Second Largest Synthetic Latex Polymers Market, Will Continue
Global Demand For Kaolin To Reach 27.5 Million Metric Tons
World Rubber Processing Chemical Demand To Reach 1.5 Million Metric Tons
Smithers Rapra Forecasts Carbon Black Markets To Grow At 3.74 Percent CAGR
Global Rubber Additives Market Forecast - 2016-2022
Fluorinated ethylene propylene global market examined
North American Synthetic Latex Polymers Market Forecast To Grow By 1.5 Percent Through 2020
Record Year Predicted For Replacement Tires
World Rubber Industry
World Demand For Rubber To Reach 31.7 Million Metric Tons
U.S. Demand For Specialty Silicas To Exceed $2 Billion In 2019
Rubber Processing Chemicals Market To Be Worth $4.8 Billion By 2020
End-Of-Year Projection Indicates Slight Improvement In Tire Shipments
World Demand For Tires To Reach 3 Billion In 2019
World Demand For Thermoplastic Elastomers To Reach 6.7 Million Metric Tons In 2019
Global Petrochemical Prices Leveled Off In October
Global Petrochemical Prices Fell To Six-Year Low In September
Europe Is The Largest Synthetic Latex Polymers Market
Industrial Rubber Product Demand To Exceed $24 Billion In 2019
Global Styrene Butadiene Rubber Market, 2015-2019
Plastics Industry Positioned To Meet Growing Demands Of Automotive Sector
Global Petrochemical Prices Up 10 Percent In April
RMA Projects Slight Increase In 2015 Total Tire Shipments
International Rubber Study Group Reports On First Quarter Of 2015
International Rubber Study Group Reports On First Quarter Of 2015
Yokohama Rubber: Commercial Tire Market Overview
Global Tire Materials Market Analyzed
Rubber Imports Likely To Improve In Coming Months
Polyisobutylene market examined
IRSG Publishes Latest World Rubber Industry Outlook
Preliminary Balance Predicted For Italian Imports-Exports Of Rubber And Plastics Machinery
Global Demand For Industrial Rubber Products To Reach $158 Billion In 2018
2014 U.S. Tire Shipments Expected To Total Nearly 310 Million Units
Global petrochemical prices fell 4 percent in October
U.S. Demand For Gaskets And Seals To Reach $10.6 Billion In 2018
Europe Tire Market Forecast And Opportunities - 2019
Sustainability In The Tire Industry 2014
Demand For Rubber Products In China To Reach 740 Billion Yuan
New Nanomaterials Promise A Sustainable Future For The Tire Industry
IRSG Offers Latest World Rubber Industry Outlook
Chloroprene Rubber 2014 Global Strategic Business Report Released
Italian Rubber And Plastics Machinery Exports Report Encouraging First Quarter
Rubber industry report available from IRSG
Lucrative Growth Market For Silicones
Global thermoplastic elastomers market to hit $15 billion valuation
Resurgent Demand From End-Use Markets To Fuel Growth In Global Industrial Rubber Products Market
World Demand For Kaolin To Reach 28.7 Million Metric Tons
International Rubber Study Group Report Examines First Quarter Of 2014
Chemical Plants To Evolve
Profound Changes Expected For The Stabilizers Market
OTR Tire Market Industry Report
Rubber Product Manufacturing In Canada Examined
China Tire Industry Report, 2013-2017
2013 Forecast For Italian Plastics And Rubber Machinery Industry Released
Vietnam To Become Third Largest Rubber Exporter
World Rubber Consumption Seen Climbing As Tire Demand Grows
International Rubber Study Group Reports On Third Quarter Of 2013
Strong Growth Projected For Americas Composites Industry
Manifold Developments On The Market For Butadiene
Synthetic Latex Polymers, A $30 Billion Plus Market That Is Building Globally
Global Petrochemical Prices Rose Nearly 2 Percent In September
Global Demand For Thermoplastic Elastomers To Reach 5.8 Million Metric Tons In 2017
International Rubber Study Group reports on second quarter of 2013
Automotive industry outlook and review presented
Hankook Tire Gauge Index shows decline in summer driving
Global and Chinese tire mold industry examined
Ceresana provides complete analysis of global market for rubber
Italian rubber and plastics machinery exports face uncertain start to the year
Worldwide Industrial Rubber Products Market To Witness Steady Growth
No growth for 2012 tire shipments; two percent rebound anticipated in 2013
European Tire Market Opportunities Reviewed
Tire and Rubber Recycling Industry Has Grown 1.7 Percent Annually For Past Five Years
2012 Tire Shipments Expected To Grow By 1.2 Percent
Transportation To Drive Global Thermoplastic Composites Market
Top Ten States For Manufacturing Jobs
Rubber Machinery Trade Back On Track
Global Automotive Tire Market Forecast To Reach $187 Billion In 2017
Thermoplastics Bucking TPE Industry Trends
Rubber Consumption Increased Four Percent In 2011
Global Demand For Industrial Rubber Products To Reach $140 Billion In 2016
U.S. Demand For Gaskets & Seals To Reach $9.6 Billion In 2016
Sustained Demand From Industrial And Automotive Sectors Drives Global Nitrile Butadiene Rubber Market
Rubber Consumption To Approach 31 Million Metric Tons In 2015
Buying Tires Over Internet Reported To Be More Attractive For Drivers
World Demand For Rubber Processing Chemicals To Rise 4.7 Percent Annually Through 2015
Global Rubber Consumption To Approach 31 Million Metric Tons In 2015
Tire shipments to increase by approximately 2 percent
Global Demand For Tires To Reach 3.3 Billion Units In 2015
Global Demand For Kaolin To Exceed 28 Million Metric Tons In 2015
Indian Tire Market Expected To Grow Through 2017
New Epichlorohydrin Manufacturing Technologies Based On Renewable Resources Boost Chinese Production
Global Gaskets And Seals Market To Reach $30 Billion By 2017
Positive Outlook Predicted For Russian Rubber And Plastics Market
U.S. Carbon Black Trade Back On Track
Global Rubber Demand Forecast To Reach 27.2 Million Metric Tons In 2012
IRSG Expects Five Percent Growth In Rubber Consumption
Heavy Duty OTR Tire Manufacturing To Gain Traction Over The Next Five Years
Global Chloroprene Rubber Market To Reach 445.3 Thousand Metric Tons By 2017
Global Tires Market To Reach 1.8 Billion Units By 2017
World Demand For Thermoplastic Elastomers To Approach 5.6 Million Metric Tons in 2015, Freedonia Reports
Global Long Fiber Thermoplastics Market To Reach 313.4 Thousand Tons By 2017
IRSG Forecasts Rubber Consumption Growth
U.S. Tire Imports, Exports Continue Growth
Global Silicone Market Forecast To Reach $17.2 Billion By 2017
Improving Economic Outlook On Tap For Chemical Processing Industry
2011 Tire Shipments To Grow Nearly 4 Percent
Yokohama Senior VP Of Sales And Marketing Gives Mid-Year Report
Latest Rubber Statistical Bulletin/Rubber Industry Report Available From IRSG
China Imports More Natural Rubber To Meet Booming Demand
U.S. Demand For Specialty Silicas To Reach $1.7 Billion In 2015
U.S. Farm Tire Market Examined
Global Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) Block Copolymer Market To Reach 1.9 Million Tons By 2017
Global Nitrile Butadiene Rubber Market To Exceed 645 Thousand Tons By 2017
Global Tetrahydrofuran Market To Exceed 800 Thousand Tons By 2017
Global Market For Chloroprene Rubber To Reach 445.3 Thousand Metric Tons By 2017
2011 Tire Shipments To Grow Three Percent
Automotive Industry Outlook And Review For March 2011
U.S, Tire Shipments Increase More Than 10 Percent In 2010
Rubber Demand Bounces Back, More Growth Seen
Automotive Coating, Adhesive And Sealant Demand To Rise 9.4 Percent
Growing Optimism In Manufacturing As 49% Plan To Increase Hiring In Next Six Months
Polyurethane Processors, Suppliers Head Into 2011 With Optimistic Outlook
Economic Growth Continues In 2011
2010 U.S. Tire Shipments To Post Nine Percent Increase
Tire Manufacturers Emphasize Design As Low Rolling Resistant And Eco-Friendly Tires Gain Popularity
Automotive Industry Outlook Highlighted
Global Industrial Rubber Products Market To Reach $88.5 Billion By 2015
Indian Tire Industry Analyzed
IRSG Says Global Output Of Rubber Increased 8.9 Percent
Indian Tire Industry Forecasted To 2014
Platts Global Petrochemical Index Ended July Higher On Late Rally
2010 Tire Shipments To Increase Eight Percent
World Demand For Specialty Silicas To Reach 2.7 Million Metric Tons In 2014
Rate Of Decline In Petrochemical Prices Picks Up Pace In May
Global and China Automotive Tire Companies Will See Revenue Growth, But Profit Fall in 2010
Rubber Loses Support Of Crude Oil, Currencies And Commodity Stocks
Chinese Tire Industry Predictions for 2010-2011
Rubber Crisis Looms, May Hit India Hard
U.S. Industrial Rubber Products Market To Reach $17.7 Billion In 2014
Global Tire Cord Market To Exceed 1.3 Million Metric Tons By 2015
Auto Industry Outlook for 2010
World Industrial Rubber Products Demand To Grow By 4.5 Percent
Tire Industry Market Report 2010
2010 Tire Shipments To Increase Three Percent
World Demand For Carbon Black To Reach 11.6 MMT In 2013
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Copolymer Demand To Grow In 2010
World Rubber Consumption To Reach 26.9 Million Metric Tons In 2013
Signs of Timid Recovery in 2009
Elastomers Distributor Sees Signs of Market Recovery
IRSG Offers Latest Rubber Statistical Bulletin
2009 Tire Shipments To Post Thirteen Percent Decline
Research Report On Chinese Rubber Industry, 2008-2009
2009 Tire Shipments Revised To Drop 16 Percent
NR Supply Heading Into A Historical Fall - Review Of 12 Months Ended June 2009
Natural Rubber Supply And Demand Forecast And Price Outlook
More Old Tires Put To New Uses; Scrap Tire Piles Receding
Global rubber consumption drops to lowest level since 2006
Natural Rubber Production Dropped Drastically During January To April 2009
High Growth Forecasted For The Global And China Tire Market, 2008-2009
Global Production Of Natural Rubber On The Decline
U.S. Demand For Specialty Silicas To Reach $1.7 Billion In 2013
World Natural Rubber Output To See Biggest Fall Since 1993
China Holds Key To Rubber Production Rebound
World Demand For Nonwovens To Approach 8 Million Metric Tons In 2012
China Is Leading Rubber Importer From Viet Nam
Poor Car Sales May Curb Global Demand For Rubber
2009 Tire Shipments To Drop Seven Percent
Dubai Rubber Imports And Exports Hit AED 7.8 Billion In 2008
IRSG Forecast:: Rubber Consumption Will Decline
2008 Tire Shipments Drop More Than 6%, Says RMA
Natural Rubber Prices In India Decline In Fourth Quarter
Thailand May Purchase 200,000 Metric Tons Of Rubber
Vietnamese Rubber Sector Deals With Economic Crisis
Akrochem offers one of the broadest lines of materials in the
rubber industry. We're immediately recognized for superior colors,
but our technical support and our attention to detail make us a
reliable and popular source for all compounding needs.