Michelin has become the world’s most valuable tire brand following 30 percent brand value growth to $7.9 billion over the past year according to the latest Brand Finance report. It overtook Bridgestone (down 6 percent to $7 billion), which slipped from first to second place in the annual Brand Finance Tyres 10 ranking.
As well as being the most valuable brand, Michelin also is the strongest, according to the report. Its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score was up a sector-leading 6 percent to 86.9 out of 100. The corresponding brand rating improved a notch to AAA, making Michelin the only tire brand with a clear triple-A rating.
Sustainability and technology initiatives have strengthened the Michelin brand, including a concept for a 3-D printed tire that can be adapted to road conditions and never needs replacing, which was unveiled last summer to widespread acclaim. Michelin tires also performed well in motorsport, winning at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and also are being used in Formula E, which is itself becoming a desirable place to showcase technology for leading car manufacturers.
Alex Haigh, director of Brand Finance, commented, “A strong brand is about more than marketing. Michelin has started direct sales of tires to customers through retail outlets and the internet, a move that helps build a direct relationship with consumers, and allows the company to collect valuable data. It is also widening its sub-brand portfolio, allowing it to sell price-competitive tires and premium ones without cannibalizing market share.”
World’s 10 Most Valuable Tire Brands
Japanese Brands Slip
The world’s biggest tire company by market capitalization, Bridgestone, dropped to second place. Bridgestone was not the only Japanese brand to lose value, with Yokohama down 18 percent to $0.8 billion and Sumitomo Rubber Industries down 62 percent to $0.6 billion. A weak domestic market affected all three producers, while value gains from stronger sales growth in North America, Europe and Asia were partially offset by a weaker yen.
Chinese Tires Gain Traction
At the same time, Chinese companies have appeared as successful challengers to the established players in the tire industry. Although, apart from Maxxis in eighth spot, Chinese brands are still outside the top 10, the three largest – Linglong Tire, Sailun Jinyu and Changchun Faway are making their mark and, given their current brand value growth, should make a successful entrance to the top 10 as early as next year.
View the full list of the 10 most valuable tire brands of 2018 here.