In the past, rubber tyres were solid not pneumatic. In the recent scenario, majority of tyres are pneumatic inflatable structures and comprising a doughnut-shaped body of cords and wires encased in rubber and usually filled with compressed air to form an inflatable cushion. Pneumatic tyres production needs various raw materials such as synthetic rubber, natural rubber, fabric and wire, along with other chemicals. Different types of rubber are used for production of pneumatic tyres, the most common being styrene-butadiene copolymer. Pneumatic tyres consist of a tread and a body. The tread provides traction while the body provides containment for a quantity of compressed air. Pneumatic tyres provide grip to the vehicle, resist abrasion and carry and transport loads. Thus pneumatic tyres provide safety and performance to the vehicle. On the basis of vehicle type pneumatic tyres market can be classified as bicycle, bus and lorry, car, motorcycle and aircraft. The use of tyres are not limited in new vehicles only, it can also be used in old vehicles due to wear and tear and for replacement purpose, which is also a major market for tyres. Airplane tyres are a niche market, but is a high revenue contributor to the pneumatic tyres market.
North America is the largest market for pneumatic tyres, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market. China and India hold the key for future market trends in pneumatic tyres market owing to large population, rising disposable income and high growth rate of automotive industry in these regions. Germany, France and Italy are hub for some of the major automobile manufacturers in Europe where as the U.S. is the largest market in North America.
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The market of pneumatic tyres is expected to witness a double digit growth rate in the coming years. Some of the major drivers contributing the overall market growth of pneumatic tyres include increased in the production of vehicles globally, rising disposable income and ever-increasing population. Increasing price of raw materials and rise in fuel prices can act as restraints for pneumatic tyres market.
The major companies operating in the pneumatic tyres market include Dunlop, Michelin, Bridgestone Corporation, MRF, Goodyear and Maxxis International.