Performance of Malaysian passenger car tire industry emerged strongest in the fourth quarter as sales were given a significant boost by the flurry of year-end activities which took place in the country. GfK Malaysia’s retail audit of replacement car tires in Klang Valley reported USD78 million worth of replacement car tires being sold from October to December 2010.
“It is not unusual for quarter four to register stronger demands as major festivities like Hari Raya, Christmas and school holidays all take place during the last few months of the year,” commented Jennifer Chan, General Manager of GfK Malaysia. “In preparation for heavier usage of their cars for visitations and long drives, car owners tend to send their vehicles for their due servicing which includes replacing their worn out tires, around this period of time.”
The Malaysian economy bode well for its replacement car tire industry in 2010. For the whole of last year, 3.6 million units of replacement car tires valued at USD252.3 million were sold in Klang Valley alone. Fourth quarter performance was especially strong; registering a 22 percent volume growth when compared to the same period in 2009, and 29 percent when compared with the average of the first three quarters this year.
However, not all the tire manufacturers in the Malaysian markets are cheering over the industry’s good showing. While GfK findings reflect increase in sales across almost all of the tire brands, some brands were being out-paced and lost market share despite gains in sales numbers.
For instance, quarter four replacement car tire sales showed that Japanese and local tire makers registered losses in market share when compared against the previous quarter. Japanese manufacturers lost a considerable three percent of their market share while local brands lost close to one percent. The biggest gainers were the American and European tire brands with a combined gain of almost five percent market share.
Another rising trend is the proliferation of Chinese brands in the Malaysian market. “As in many other industries where we see increasing presence of Chinese brands, a similar trend is also surfacing in the replacement car tire market in Malaysia. Of the total recorded tire brands tracked by GfK, nearly one-fifth were Chinese brands,” observed Ms Chan. “No doubt the combined sales of China-made replacement tires are still insignificant at this point in time, but they are due to make a huge impact in the long run. Until then, the replacement car tire market will continue to be dominated by local and Japanese players,” Ms Chan.