General slowdown in 2012, particularly in Europe. Widening gap between mature and rapidly developing countries, the latter contributing for 70% to the global growth between 2011 and 2015. The average annual increase in GDP for China, particularly in the period 2011 - 2015 is 8.4%, followed by South America (+4.6%), by the Middle East-North Africa (+4.9%) and Russia and the CIS area (+4.1%) compared with more moderate growth in mature markets such as the USA (+2.7%) and Europe (+1.7%).
The tyre sector - whose sales are strongly influenced by the Replacement channel - is more profitable and less cyclical compared to the auto sector. This trend is more visible when we compare Premium Tyres vs Premium Automakers.
The Premium segment is always more widespread with Consumer and the growing Premium vehicles fleet. Thanks to the emergence of new models of consumption in rapidly growing countries more oriented towards high-end products the Premium car park in circulation continues to grow more rapidly than the standard segment: in particular, between 2011 and 2015 growth in this segment is forecast at an annual 4.7% compared with growth of 3.6% forecast for the non-premium car park. Similar results for the global market of Premium tyres which grew at an annual 9.4% compared with 1.8% in the standard segment in the period 2007-2011. In the period 2011-2015 a figure of annual 9.6% is estimated compared to 3.7% for the standard segment.
Premium is more resilient
Consolidation of “trading blocks”. In a scenario of economic slowdown, 'trading blocks' are further consolidated and protectionist measures are implemented (tariff barriers or other measures such as technical prerequisites, certification of products, increased administrative costs attributable to import procedures) which encourage the adoption of a 'local for local’ strategy as a countermeasure.