Run-flat tires are designed in such a way that they allow safe driving of the vehicle for a specific distance even after a tire puncture. The vehicle cannot be driven indefinitely with a run-flat tire; however, these tires enable the driver to drive to a repair facility, thereby preventing a sudden breakdown. Generally, a vehicle with run-flat tire can be driven up to 50 miles on loss of inflation pressure. However, this distance varies as per automaker standards and tire range.
A tire puncture can lead to a serious accident due to loss of steering control. Demand for improvement in vehicle safety and minimization of the potential secondary accident risk is driving the demand for run-flat tires. Run-flat tires have been adopted as standard fitments by several automakers such as BMW, Cadillac, and Mercedes Benz. Adoption of run-flat tires improves the safety rating of the vehicle and hence, are being increasingly adopted by automakers. Rising demand for run-flat tires from automakers to incorporate product differentiating features and improve safety rating of the vehicle is driving the run-flat tire market. Awareness about the hazards of a tire puncture is rising among consumers. Run-flat tires enable the vehicle to be driven to the nearest service center without having to be parked dead on the road while waiting for assistance. Rising consumer demand and awareness is boosting the demand for run-flat tires.
The global run-flat tire market can be segmented based on tire type, vehicle type, sales channel, and region. Based on tire type, the run-flat tire market can be classified into self-supporting type and support ring type. Self-supporting tires have a reinforced sidewall that supports the tire, maintain its structure, and bears the weight of the vehicle weight. Self-supporting run-flat tires are extensively utilized and hence, the self-supporting type segment accounts for a leading share of the market. The support ring type run-flat tire comprises a hard rubber ring inside the tire that supports the vehicle weight in case of deflation due to puncture. A key advantage of the support ring type run-flat tire is that is does not require replacement, as is required in case of self-supporting type tire. However, the wheels for the support ring type tires are unique, consumers thus have to purchase wheels and tires, which has led to the low rate of adoption of the support ring type tire.
In terms of vehicle type, the global run-flat tire market can be classified into passenger vehicle, light commercial vehicle, and heavy commercial vehicle. The passenger vehicle segment held a notable share of the run-flat tire market, owing to the adoption of run-flat tires in premium and luxury vehicles. Rising awareness among commercial fleet operators about driving safety is expected to boost the adoption of these tires in commercial vehicles, thereby drive the run-flat tire market.
Based on sales channel, the global run-flat tire market can be segregated into OEM and aftermarket. Run-flat tires are offered as standard fitment in premium vehicles. Thus, the OEM segment held a dominant share of the market.
In terms of region, the global run-flat tire market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Europe and North America accounted for a major share of the global run-flat tire market, owing to the higher sale of premium and luxury vehicles and consumer affordability for the higher priced run-flat tires in these regions.
Key players operating in the global run-flat tire market are Bridgestone Corporation, Michelin, Pirelli S.p.A., Continental AG, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd., and Good Year Tire & Rubber Company.
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