The mounting preference for imported cars by Taiwanese consumers has been helping to propel the sales of larger passenger car tires in Taipei in the past one year. GfK point of sales tracking of replacement car tires in this region reported nearly 8 percent sales volume growth for above 16 inch car tires in January to May this year when compared against the same period last year.
Overall sales of replacement car tires in Taiwan totaled USD144,000 in the first five months of the year, reaching 1.4 million in sales volume. Although this reflected declines by 14 percent in value and 11 percent in volume from last year, some segments have been witnessing growth since the beginning of the year.
The sales surge of car tires with higher rim diameter is more apparent in the Taipei region when compared with the remaining central, northern and southern regions of Taiwan. The market share of above 16 inch car tires reached over 53 percent this year—an 8 percent increase from a year ago. Meanwhile, the segment’s share in the other three regions stood at only 42 percent of the total car tire market.
“Import rate of new cars, especially those from Europe and Japan has gone up substantially in recent times*, and these vehicles are normally installed with tires that are larger than 16 inch in size,” explained Allen Chen, Managing Director of GfK in Taiwan. “With the rising popularity of imported cars, a subsequent surge in demand for tires with larger diameters, in particular the 16 and 17 inch sizes are being seen in the local market.”
GfK findings also reported significant growth in replacement car tires catering to the 4X4 segment. In particular, 17 inch and above 4X4 tires which are usually installed on SUVs and MPVs have emerged as the highest growth segment in the first five months of this year, accounting for nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the total market sales volume. During this same period, traditional rim sizes of 15 and 16 inch diameters reported a concurrent four percent decline in sale volume.
"The current trend in Taiwan is showing inclinations towards the bigger and more expensive MPV or SUV car models,” noted Chen. “This presents a good opportunity and further growth potential for manufacturers in the 4X4 segment and other related after market, which we anticipate to be growing in the years to come,” he concluded.
- Imported car sales data from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications R.O.C. states that import rate grew from 33% to 37% in 2015
- Sales comparison period: Jan- May 2016 versus Jan- May 2015