Nigeria’s Tyre Market
Globally, the leading tyre manufacturers today include Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, Pirelli and Sumitomo (for Dunlop brand). World production of tyre is estimated to be 860 million units annually. Within Africa, significant tyre factories exist in Egypt, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Nigeria tyre market is now emerging as a leading importer of tyres in West Africa.
The Nigerian tyre industry took off shortly after independence in 1960 with both Dunlop Nigeria Plc and Michelin Nigeria Limited establishing their respective manufacturing outfits. By the Year 2005, the combined annual local capacity was 2.25m units, representing 75% of Nigerian tyre market at that time. These two companies were the only tyre manufacturing outfits in Nigeria, and indeed the West Africa region. Africa accounts for less than 1% of the global tyre production, while Nigeria then produced only about 0.2% when its factories were fully
operational before the owners of the two tyre factories (Dunlop Nigeria Plc and Michelin Nigeria Ltd) shut them at the end of 2008 and 2006 respectively, due to the harsh operating environment (infrastructural deficiency, tariff structure, etc).
THE NIGERIAN TYRE MARKET
In the last forty years and starting during the oil boom years, the increased number of cars in Nigeria over saturated Nigerian roads. The demand for tyres kept growing over the years and the tyre market, like many other markets in the country at that time, was a seller’s market. This growth continued until the economy started to decline in the last twenty years as a result of the world’s energy crisis, coupled with our own internal problems. Over the last 20 years or so, it had become difficult to buy new cars and most people had to resort to second hand (Tokunbo) cars. The market reacted by importing an increasing number of second hand cars into the country from different parts of the world, which became more affordable and influenced the car tyre market in several ways.
In the Nigeria tyre market, there are both premium and budget (cheaper tyres), but the ever declining purchasing power of the consumers continued to make the budget tyres more attractive. Budget tyres (which account for about 80% of the Nigerian total tyre market) are imported mainly from Asian countries. These are usually low quality, low priced tyres, allowed into the country so long as they meet the standards set by Government agencies. Standards Organisation of Nigeria is expected to inspect these tyres on arrival.