According to the Polish Tyre Industry Association, basing on data from the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association, in Q1 2020, tyre manufacturers and importers in Poland recorded a decrease in sales in all tyre segments, apart from industrial tyres – the dynamic of sales of which has increased by 6%. The largest decrease in sales was recorded in the commercial tyres (-28%) and passenger and SUV categories (-23% in both segments). The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on tyre sales and the tyre industry is unprecedented.
The results for the first quarter of 2020 illustrate a radical slowdown in sales and replacement of tyres compared to the Q1 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
– Poland is facing the greatest social and economic slump that has never been seen before. No industrially developed country has undergone such a crisis for several decades. The activity of many industries at all levels is already strongly shaken – this is also the case in the automotive and tyre industry. It is now very visible how individual industries are interrelated. The market situation is difficult - even for those who operate in international capital groups. This also translates into the difficult situation of small and medium-sized companies that are often their sub-suppliers. The suspension of major operational activities will undoubtedly have serious, long-term effects for our industry. That is why we are counting on a rational „defrosting of the economy” plan in Poland, such as those that are being prepared by neighbouring countries and our main economic partners – states Andrzej Włodarczyk, President of the Polish Tyre Industry Association.
– In the sale of tyres to the business market, we recorded large declines in almost all segments. This is due to the economic situation that we have been recording in Europe since the beginning of the year. The spectre of the crisis and the impact of the first wave of coronavirus resulted in a fall in tyre purchases in fleets and wholesalers. As a result of the intervention of the Polish Association of the Tyre Industry, the Polish Automotive Industry Association and the Association of Car Dealers, the Ministry of Health approved the change of winter tyres to summer tyres by people who use cars for commuting and meeting their everyday needs – says Piotr Sarnecki, General Director of PTIA. – PTIA has prepared guidelines for tyre services on how to proceed to maintain safety during the pandemic. By following them, drivers will be less likely to become infected with the coronavirus in a car workshop than they would be to cause a fender-bender or a serious accident while driving on unsuitable tyres – adds Sarnecki.
The European tyre market has also noted a decrease in sales
It is unclear when the European tyre industry will be able to resume its production activities and the international supply chain will be up and running again. ETRMA estimates that in Europe: 89% of manufacturing capacity is closed, 84% of the workforce is affected and 10% of R&D staff is unable to continue their activities.
– Both the suspension of the operational activities and the sharp drop in demand will have a long-lasting impact on the performance of our industry. This is the biggest challenge our industry has ever faced. ETRMA supports the measures taken by the European Commission to help mitigate the consequences of this unprecedented crisis. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with decision-makers on how we can restart our activities in the near future. In the meantime, the tyre industry will continue to contribute to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The European tyre industry remains ready to provide any assistance it can. A number of ETRMA members are producing surgical masks and ventilators in different Member States and continues to mobilise on all fronts to play an active role in the global battle – says Fazilet Cinaralp, Secretary General of ETRMA.