HF

Jun- July 2021

June, 2021

BACK ON TRACK, AND SPEEDING

Now that it is accepted that there is going to be no quick end to the continuing waves of the Covid 19 attack, the focus needs to be on how the industry is handling it. The signs are not merely positive, but inspiring. The global tyre industry is definitely back on track and speeding. This is what the Third Quarter financials of various companies show. Sales and revenue are on the rise and demand from the market is also on an upward swing.

This is amazing – the basic nature of the global mobility industry. It is impervious to crises, manmade or otherwise, that adversely affect many other industries. Tourism, for example, and the hospitality industry in general, are so closely tagged with social gatherings as compared with social distancing, are having a nightmare time with people keeping a distance from their favourite holiday destinations.

On the other hand, the mobility industry, where tyre is a vital element, has to work no matter what happens. Lockdowns are temporary, but roads can never afford to remain empty for long. This is what makes the industry robust and shock-absorbing.

In India, which saw some of the globally worst days of virus-created mayhem, the automotive industry has picked up fast. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) says vehicle sales recorded nearly 45% increase in January 2021. That obviously means a greater number of tyres on the road. According to a SIAM senior, the problem is lack of enough tyres available. This increase in demand is a dreamy situation for the tyre industry.

Also, the Indian government has brought in draft norms for tyre makers that stipulate standards with regards to rolling resistance, wet grip and rolling sound emission, helping make the Indian norms internationally compliant. This is a positive development that helps the industry be at par with global standards.

The global scene is surely one of return-to-track for the tyre industry. The underlying question is how much the industry has imbibed the lessons the pandemic taught in making itself stronger to face similar or worse challenges in the future. (TT)

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