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South Korea Tyre Market By Tire Type (Radial Tires, Bias Tires); By Rim Size (Below 15 inches, 15–20 inches, Above 20 inches); By Application (On-road Tires, Off-road Tires, Agricultural Tires, Others); By Region – Growth, Share, Opportunities & Competitive Analysis, 2024 – 2032

Price: $1999

Published: | Report ID: 39259 | Report Format : PDF
Historical Period 2019-2022
Base Year 2023
Forecast Period 2024-2032
South Korea Tyre Market Size 2023 USD 3,774.85 million
South Korea Tyre Market, CAGR 7.24%
South Korea Tyre Market Size 2032 USD 6,603.19 million

Market Overview

The South Korea Tyre Market is currently experiencing substantial growth, projected to escalate from USD 3,774.85 million in 2023 to an estimated USD 6,603.19 million by 2032. This growth trajectory is forecasted to follow a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.24% from 2024 to 2032. Such an expansion is indicative of the increasing demand within the sector, fueled by both advancements in automotive technologies and rising consumer preferences for higher quality and durable tyres. As the automotive industry continues to recover and expand post-pandemic, the market for tyres in South Korea is poised to meet this accelerating demand with a robust product offering.

Driving the market forward are several key factors and prevailing trends. Technological advancements in tyre manufacturing, such as the development of eco-friendly and energy-efficient tyres, are becoming increasingly prominent. Additionally, a surge in automobile sales, coupled with a heightened awareness among consumers about the benefits of regular tyre maintenance and replacement, underpins the market’s expansion. Moreover, the trend toward adopting electric and hybrid vehicles, which require specific types of tyres, further bolsters market growth. These drivers, combined with governmental support for automotive sector innovations, ensure the market remains on a path of sustained growth.

Geographically, the urban centers of South Korea such as Seoul, Busan, and Incheon are pivotal to the market’s dynamics, hosting key players and a large consumer base that drives demand. Major companies like Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd., Kumho Tire Co., Inc., and Nexen Tire Corporation dominate the landscape, benefiting from both local advancements in automotive technologies and strategic global partnerships. These companies not only cater to domestic needs but also leverage South Korea’s strong position in the global automotive market to enhance their international footprint, thereby reinforcing the market’s expansion both locally and globally.

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Market Drivers

Technological Advancements in Tyre Manufacturing:

South Korea has long been recognized for its technological prowess, and this extends into the tyre manufacturing sector. Innovations such as the development of airless tyres, increased use of sustainable materials, and improvements in tyre longevity and fuel efficiency significantly drive consumer interest and demand. For instance, the development of airless tyres have seen a 15% increase in production over the past three years. Tyre manufacturers are investing heavily in research and development to produce tyres that offer enhanced safety features, better performance under diverse driving conditions, and reduced environmental impact. These technological strides not only meet the growing consumer expectations but also comply with stringent global regulations on vehicle emissions and energy efficiency.

Increase in Automobile Sales:

The automobile market in South Korea has shown robust growth, with an increase in sales of both conventional and electric vehicles. For instance, new car sales have increased by 12% in the past year, creating a direct positive impact on the tyre market. This rise is partly due to the economic recovery following the global downturn, leading to greater consumer spending power. As new car sales increase, so does the demand for high-quality tyres, creating a direct positive impact on the tyre market. Furthermore, the replacement tyre segment benefits from this trend, as more vehicles on the road necessitate periodic tyre replacements, thereby sustaining market growth over longer periods.

Governmental Policies and Incentives:

The South Korean government has implemented several policies aimed at boosting the automotive industry, which, in turn, benefits the tyre market. These policies include incentives for electric vehicles (EVs), which require specific types of tyres that are different from traditional vehicles. Subsidies and tax benefits for EV owners and manufacturers create a conducive environment for the growth of this sector, indirectly boosting the demand for compatible tyres. Additionally, regulations focusing on vehicle safety and environmental standards compel tyre manufacturers to innovate and produce superior quality products that adhere to these regulations.

Growing Demand for High-Performance and Eco-Friendly Tyres:

There is a significant shift in consumer preferences towards high-performance and eco-friendly tyres. Drivers in South Korea are increasingly aware of the impacts of their choices on the environment, leading to greater demand for tyres made from sustainable materials that offer improved fuel efficiency and reduced carbon footprints. Moreover, the challenging and varied driving conditions in South Korea necessitate tyres that perform reliably in both urban and rural settings, enhancing safety and efficiency. Tyre manufacturers are responding to these consumer preferences by developing products that not only meet but exceed these requirements, further driving market growth.

Market Trends

Shift Towards Eco-Friendly Tyres:

There is a growing consumer preference for environmentally friendly tyres, driven by increased environmental awareness and government regulations. For instance, there has been a 25% increase in demand for such tyres in the last five years. South Korean manufacturers are focusing on producing tyres with lower rolling resistance to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, which can potentially reduce CO2 emissions by up to 7%.

Adoption of Advanced Tyre Technologies:

South Korean tyre manufacturers are incorporating advanced technologies such as sensor-embedded tyres and AI-based predictive maintenance systems. These innovations, for instance, have been shown to improve tyre life by 15% and reduce tyre-related accidents by 10% by providing real-time data on tyre condition and performance.

Expansion of the Electric Vehicles (EV) Market:

With the surge in the electric vehicle market, there is an increased demand for tyres that are optimized for EVs. These tyres, for instance, are designed to support heavier loads due to the weight of the batteries and to minimize noise, which is more noticeable in quieter EVs. The demand for such tyres has grown by 30% in the last two years.

Increased Focus on High-Performance Tyres:

The market is witnessing a rise in demand for high-performance tyres due to growing consumer interest in sports and luxury vehicles. These tyres are designed to provide better grip and handling at higher speeds and in varied driving conditions. For instance, sales of high-performance tyres have increased by 20% over the past year.

Strategic Global Expansions and Partnerships:

 South Korean tyre manufacturers are actively expanding their global footprint through strategic partnerships and acquisitions. These moves are aimed at tapping into new markets and diversifying their geographical presence to reduce dependency on the domestic market.

Development of Specialized Tyres for Diverse Applications:

There is an increasing trend towards the development of specialized tyres tailored for different climatic conditions and terrains. This includes all-season tyres, winter tyres, and tyres designed for rugged terrains, catering to a broad range of consumer needs.

Focus on Recycling and Sustainability in Production:

Recycling initiatives are gaining traction within the tyre industry, with companies investing in technologies to recycle old tyres into new products. This trend is driven by both regulatory pressures and the corporate responsibility agendas of businesses aiming for sustainability.

Market Restraints and Challenges

Intense Competition:

The tyre market in South Korea is highly competitive, with both domestic giants and international players vying for market share. Prominent companies like Hankook, Kumho, and Nexen are continuously challenged by global brands such as Michelin and Bridgestone. This intense competition puts pressure on pricing, margins, and market share, compelling companies to continually innovate and improve their offerings to stay relevant and profitable.

Raw Material Price Volatility:

The tyre industry heavily relies on natural rubber and synthetic materials, prices of which are susceptible to fluctuations due to changes in global market conditions, weather-related disruptions in rubber production, and geopolitical tensions. Such volatility can significantly impact the cost structures of tyre manufacturers, affecting their pricing strategies and profitability. Managing these costs while maintaining quality and affordability for consumers remains a significant challenge.

Environmental Regulations:

South Korea has stringent environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable practices. These regulations require tyre manufacturers to invest in cleaner production technologies and develop products that contribute to better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Compliance with these regulations incurs additional costs and requires operational adjustments, posing a challenge particularly for smaller players in the industry.

Technological Disruptions:

As the automotive industry evolves with advancements in electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies, tyre manufacturers must adapt to these changes. The shift demands new types of tyres that can meet the unique requirements of these vehicles, such as lower rolling resistance and greater load-bearing capabilities. Staying ahead in terms of technological innovation demands significant investment in R&D, which can be a substantial barrier for less financially robust companies.

Economic Slowdowns:

The economic climate significantly affects the automotive industry, including the tyre market. Periods of economic slowdown or recession result in decreased consumer spending and lower automobile sales, directly impacting tyre sales. The unpredictable economic conditions post-global crises pose ongoing risks to market stability and growth.

Supply Chain Disruptions:

The global nature of tyre manufacturing supply chains makes them susceptible to disruptions from logistical issues, trade disputes, and pandemics like COVID-19. Such disruptions can lead to shortages of raw materials or finished goods, delaying production and distribution, impacting customer satisfaction and market share.

Market Segmentation Analysis

By Tire Type

Radial tires, the predominant choice in the market, are especially valued for their durability, fuel efficiency, and comfort, making them well-suited for both passenger and commercial vehicles. Their design features steel belts aligned perpendicularly to the tread, which enhances road grip and extends tread life. On the other hand, bias tires, though not as widely used as radial tires, are preferred for specific purposes such as agricultural and industrial equipment where rugged construction and the ability to handle heavy loads at lower speeds are crucial.

By Rim Size

In the South Korea Tyre Market, rim sizes vary widely to accommodate different vehicle types and consumer preferences. Rim sizes below 15 inches are ideal for compact cars, offering cost benefits and adaptability to urban driving, making them prevalent in densely populated cities. The 15–20 inches segment serves a broader range of vehicles including sedans, SUVs, and smaller commercial vehicles, balancing aesthetics with performance, and providing durability and handling suitable for various driving conditions. On the higher end, rim sizes above 20 inches cater to the luxury and sports car segments, where there is a growing demand for larger tires that enhance both the aesthetic and performance attributes of high-end vehicles.

By Application

The South Korea Tyre Market includes a variety of segments, each tailored to specific operational needs. The on-road tires segment, the largest of all, comprises tires made for standard vehicles typically used in urban and highway settings, designed to enhance performance, safety, and fuel efficiency. Off-road tires cater to vehicles used on rugged terrains, featuring enhanced grip and durability to meet the demands of outdoor activities and industrial applications. Agricultural tires are engineered for agricultural machinery, built to withstand heavy loads and operate efficiently on uneven farmlands. Additionally, the market features a diverse range of specialized tires, including those for industrial machinery and aircraft, each designed with unique specifications to suit particular functional requirements.

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Based on Tire Type

  • Radial Tires
  • Bias Tires

Based on Rim Size

  • Below 15 inches
  • 15–20 inches
  • Above 20 inches

Based on Application

  • On-road Tires
  • Off-road Tires
  • Agricultural Tires
  • Others

Regional Analysis

Seoul Capital Area (35%):

This region holds approximately 35% of the market share. As the economic and political hub of South Korea, the Seoul Capital Area boasts a high concentration of vehicle owners and several corporate headquarters. The dense population and substantial urban development drive demand for both passenger and commercial vehicle tyres. Additionally, the presence of extensive road networks and the tendency for higher disposable incomes contribute to a strong demand for premium and specialized tyres.

Busan-Ulsan-Gyeongnam Area (25%):

Commanding about 25% of the market share, this region is pivotal due to its heavy industrial base, including major automotive manufacturing plants and shipping industries. The demand in this area is heavily skewed towards high-performance and durable tyres for commercial vehicles, given the prominence of industrial activities and the presence of the largest port in Korea, which requires efficient logistical support.

Daegu-Gyeongbuk Area (15%):

Holding around 15% of the market share, this region is characterized by its robust manufacturing sector, especially for machinery and metal products. Tyre demand here is driven by both industrial applications and private vehicle use. The region’s focus on industrial growth supports sustained demand for industrial and off-road tyres.

Key players

  1. Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd.
  2. Kumho Tire Co., Inc.
  3. Nexen Tire Corporation
  4. Bridgestone Corporation
  5. Michelin
  6. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
  7. Continental AG
  8. Piregon Tire
  9. Sumitomo Rubber Industries
  10. Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd.

Competitive Analysis

The tyre market in South Korea is highly competitive, characterized by a mix of domestic giants and international stalwarts. Hankook, Kumho, and Nexen lead the domestic front with strong brand recognition and extensive distribution networks. These companies focus on technological innovations, particularly in eco-friendly and high-performance tyre segments. International players like Bridgestone, Michelin, and Goodyear enhance competition by introducing advanced global technologies and comprehensive product lines tailored to diverse automotive needs. The competition is further intensified by strategic alliances, mergers, and acquisitions, which are employed by these companies to expand their market footprint and capitalize on emerging market opportunities in South Korea.

Recent Developments

In August 2022, Hankook announced a significant investment of $1.6 billion to expand its Tennessee Plant in the United States. This expansion is set to increase the production capacity significantly, adding the manufacturing of Truck Bus and Radial (TBR) tires for the first time in the U.S., alongside doubling the output of passenger car and light truck (PC/LT) tires. This move is expected to create 1,200 new jobs and enhance the company’s capability to meet North American market demands.

Kumho Tire has been active in establishing partnerships to bolster its market presence. In September 2022, the company announced a collaboration with a European automotive manufacturer to supply original equipment tires. This partnership underscores Kumho’s strategic efforts to expand its footprint in the global automotive tire sector.

Nexen made headlines in April 2023 by launching a new eco-friendly tire line, aiming to align with global sustainability trends. These tires are designed to provide improved fuel efficiency and lower noise levels, which represents Nexen’s commitment to environmental sustainability and innovation in tire technology.

In 2022, Bridgestone invested in new technologies to enhance its production efficiency and product quality. This includes the introduction of advanced manufacturing systems that leverage artificial intelligence and robotics, aiming to boost productivity and ensure higher quality standards in tire production.

Market Concentration and Characteristics 

The South Korea Tyre Market is characterized by a high degree of concentration, dominated by a few major players such as Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd., Kumho Tire Co., Inc., and Nexen Tire Corporation. These leading companies hold significant market shares and are pivotal in shaping industry trends and dynamics. Their dominance is bolstered by strong brand recognition, substantial investment in research and development, and extensive distribution networks both within and outside of South Korea. Additionally, these top firms are complemented by the presence of several international brands like Bridgestone and Michelin, which also contribute to the competitive landscape. The market is further characterized by a focus on technological innovation, especially in the development of eco-friendly and high-performance tyres, to meet the evolving demands of both domestic and global automotive sectors. This concentration of major players drives market trends and sets standards in quality, innovation, and sustainability within the industry.

Report Coverage

The research report offers an in-depth analysis based on Tire Type, Rim Size and Application. It details leading market players, providing an overview of their business, product offerings, investments, revenue streams, and key applications. Additionally, the report includes insights into the competitive environment, SWOT analysis, current market trends, as well as the primary drivers and constraints. Furthermore, it discusses various factors that have driven market expansion in recent years. The report also explores market dynamics, regulatory scenarios, and technological advancements that are shaping the industry. It assesses the impact of external factors and global economic changes on market growth. Lastly, it provides strategic recommendations for new entrants and established companies to navigate the complexities of the market.

Future Outlook

  1. The market is expected to see a rise in demand for eco-friendly tyres as environmental regulations become stricter and consumer preferences shift towards sustainable products.
  1. With the EV market expanding, there will be a higher demand for tyres that are specifically designed to support the unique requirements of electric vehicles, such as low rolling resistance and noise reduction.
  1. Continued innovation in tyre technology, including advances in materials and intelligent tyre systems, will drive the market forward, enhancing safety and performance.
  1. As consumer preferences lean towards high-performance vehicles, the demand for high-performance tyres is expected to grow, supporting enhanced driving dynamics and road safety.
  1. South Korean tyre manufacturers are likely to increase their global footprint through exports, capitalizing on international trade agreements and global partnerships.
  1. The use of smart manufacturing and automation in tyre production processes will increase, improving efficiency and product quality.
  1. New entrants and international players might intensify competition, pushing innovation and potentially leading to price adjustments.
  1. There will be a greater focus on developing tyres for specific applications such as all-weather conditions, off-roading, and agriculture, meeting diverse consumer needs.
  1. The tyre industry will likely enhance its focus on recycling used tyres and incorporating recycled materials in new products, promoting circular economy practices.
  1. Strategic partnerships and mergers & acquisitions will continue to be significant as companies aim to enhance their technological capabilities and market reach.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the projected market size of the South Korea Tyre Market by 2032?

The South Korea Tyre Market is expected to grow from USD 3,774.85 million in 2023 to an estimated USD 6,603.19 million by 2032, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.24% from 2024 to 2032.

What are the major drivers of growth in the South Korea Tyre Market?

Key growth drivers include technological advancements in tyre manufacturing, a surge in automobile sales, increased consumer awareness about tyre maintenance, and governmental support for automotive innovations.

Which regions in South Korea are most important for the tyre market?

Urban centers like Seoul, Busan, and Incheon are crucial to the market dynamics in South Korea, hosting key industry players and a significant consumer base that drives demand.

Who are the leading players in the South Korea Tyre Market?

Major companies such as Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd., Kumharat    o Tire Co., Inc., and Nexen Tire Corporation dominate the market, benefiting from strong local manufacturing capabilities and global partnerships.

How are environmental concerns influencing the South Korea Tyre Market?

Environmental concerns are leading to increased demand for eco-friendly and energy-efficient tyres. Manufacturers are responding by investing in new technologies that reduce tyre rolling resistance and improve fuel efficiency, aligning with global sustainability trends.

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