Year closing on positive signs

The recovery so far of the U.S. economy from the so-called "Great Recession" has been described as slow, sluggish, anemic.

Consumers are less than enthusiastic about current economic conditions and are keeping a close eye on their budgets.

The top headlines of 2011 in the tire industry, however, reveal a different picture. Tire companies are investing at unprecedented rates in expanding their capacities, including a handful of new plants.

Tire retailers and wholesalers, as well, are buying up outlets and expanding into new markets, although a portion of their spending is considered consolidation rather than outright growth.

Overall, most businesses involved in the U.S. tire market are reporting improved sales and profits.

Tire makers that once were looking overseas for production are now viewing the U.S. with renewed interest. Consider the plans that have been announced just this year.

Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. will build a $500 million passenger and light truck tire plant in South Carolina and is spending $224 million to expand capacity at its Mount Vernon, Ill., passenger and light truck tire factory.

Bridgestone Americas is investing nearly $1.5 billion to build a radial OTR tire plant in South Carolina and expand capacity at its Warren County, Tenn., truck tire and Aiken, S.C., consumer tire plants as well as a steel cord facility in Clarksville, Tenn.

Michelin North America Inc. is boosting capacity at its Lexington, S.C., and Woodburn, Ind., passenger/light truck tire plants, and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has been upgrading its Tupelo, Miss., car tire plant.

Marangoni Tread North America Inc. is adding capacity at its tread rubber plant in Madison, Tenn.

These capital investments mean more American jobs as well as additional potential tire sales as these companies also try to address fill rate shortages in the retail market.

New vehicle sales are increasing at a slow pace, which means skittish consumers will be visiting tire dealerships and repair shops more often to maintain their aging vehicles for the foreseeable future.

What does this all mean? From afar, the U.S. economy is on a slow climb to regain its pre-recession stability, though that may be several years off.

From a close-up view of the tire industry, investments and expansions are happening at a feverish pace as tire companies prepare and position themselves for that inevitable recovery.

All these factors indicate a positive vision for the North American tire industry, even though the business is somewhat slow, at least for now.


July 23, 2019
Aeolus has added size 315/60R22.5 to the NEO Fuel S+ series (steering axle tyre for international transport) and the NEO Allroads D+ series (universal drive axle tyre). It has thus further enhanced its range of tyres with excellent performance and the lowest price per kilometre...

April 29, 2019
Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone), the world’s largest tire and rubber company and the only Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner with its global headquarters in Tokyo, is celebrating one year to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by inviting the world to follow its journey to the next Olympic Games and...

January 18, 2019
Kumho has once again been selected as an OE supplier to Mercedes-Benz. The latest generation of its G-Class model is factory fitted with Kumho’s Solus KL21 SUV tyres in size 265/60 R18 110H at Graz in Austria....

December 13, 2018
Aeolus is expanding its NEO range with winter tyres: the NEO Winter S and the NEO Winter D. A complete range, for both the steering and drive axles, allowing the carrier to deliver on time and at low mileage costs, even in extreme winter conditions....

April 12, 2018
According to the news Qingdao Doublestar published, DOUBLESTAR and its subsidiary XINGWEI(Korea) sign with KUMHO tire and its creditor : Korea Development Bank(KDB) about subscription agreement and stock holder agreement, XINGWEI will invest 646.3 billion won at the price of 5000 won per share to subscribe 129,267,129 common share of KUMHO tire...

March 16, 2018
The world’s largest tyre and rubber company revealed its dedicated training centre at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) in Warwickshire, to supplement its existing portfolio of industry-recognised qualifications at customers’ headquarters...

February 27, 2018
On February 20, the Tire Technology Expo 2018 was held by UKIP in Hanover, Germany. Doublestar smart equipment was on shown with “Industry 4.0” smart factory successful cases and innovative R&D differentiated products, which has been highly praised and recognized by industrial experts and customers...

January 02, 2018
On December 28, 2017, the "2017 Chinese Brand Annual Awards" was held in Beijing. During the conference, thirty-five enterprises were awarded as “The Industrial Annual No.1 Brand”. In the tire industry, Doublestar...

August 30, 2017
All new Volkswagen Polo will be leaving the factory equipped with Kumho tyres. Already a supplier for the fifth generation of the model, we are now supplying the Ecowing ES01 KH27 in 185/65 R15 88H size for fitment...

August 09, 2017
The vast majority of new UK specification cars are delivered on what are classed as Summer tyres, which provide these vehicles with optimum performance for most of a typical British year – in fact until the temperature drops below 7 deg C, at which point the tread compound begins to harden and grip levels fall...