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The US tire manufacturing industry consists of about 100 companies with combined annual revenue of about $15 billion. Major companies include Goodyear, Bridgestone, Michelin, and Cooper. The industry is concentrated: the top four companies generate more than 70 percent of revenue.
Demand is driven by sales of new vehicles and the need for replacement tires. Because tires are largely a commodity, profitability depends on cost-efficient operations. Large companies can afford the research to develop tires from new, technologically advanced materials and can invest in improving production efficiency. Small companies can compete by producing tires or tire-related products for niche markets, such as bicycles or farm equipment. The industry is capital-intensive: average annual revenue per employee is about $315,000.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Companies in the tire industry manufacture new tires, inner tubes, and materials for tire repair and retreading, primarily from synthetic and natural rubber. Tire manufacturers may specialize by type of vehicle or size of tire, such as for cars, trucks, airplanes, farm equipment, or children’s vehicles. They may also specialize by type of tire: pneumatic (inflatable); solid; or semi-pneumatic, and may make tire repair and retreading materials.
The top revenue-producing products are tires for passenger cars (about 45 percent of industry revenue); trucks and buses (30 percent); and tractor, farm and industrial vehicles (5 percent).
A major tire manufacturer may design, manufacture, and sell thousands of different products for a wide range of vehicles ...
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