A few years ago, the only alternative to expensive tyres from reputable manufacturers was used or retreaded tyres. Today, the tyre market is being stormed by the affordable models of Asian brands. But are "Chinese tyres" the optimal choice for drivers looking for cheap tyres with a good price-performance ratio?
Chinese passenger car tyres - can they cope in difficult conditions?
When we talk about "Chinese tyres" we often mean Asian tyres offered by lesser-known manufacturers. A distinction should be drawn here between units produced in China by multinationals and tyres from indigenous Chinese manufacturers.
Due to low production costs, the majority of western producers have factories in the Middle Kingdom. Tyres produced by a European or American company in a Chinese factory are no different from those produced by the same company in another country, e.g. Europe.
Differences between brand name products produced in China and Chinese brands
Year after year, tyre imports from China continue to increase. The quality of the products offered by the Chinese brands is getting better and better. Of course, they do not stand a chance in tests with much more expensive, new models of the best tyre manufacturers, but they are a good alternative for drivers looking for affordable tyres. They most often choose between the cheapest models from Asian manufacturers or second hand - used or retreaded tyres.
It is true that tyres from China are most often made with less advanced technologies and poorer rubber compounds. They may also have a worse, less accurate performance. It is worth remembering, however, that all the units admitted for sale in the European Union undergo appropriate tests related to strength and performance. Although more expensive, western models are better, there is certainly no point in demonising the Asian provenance of tyres, "good Chinese tyres" are no longer just a linguistic contradiction.
Asian producers are gaining more and more popularity in Europe.
Does the place of production matter?
The largest corporations have production plants located all over the world. Tyres manufactured in all these factories - regardless of the continent - must have the same high level of performance and quality of workmanship.
The production sites that are set up in Asia are exact copies of European or American factories. These plants use the same technologies and machines. The semi-finished products used in the production of tyres are also of the same class. The employees are trained in the "old" factories and the management is largely from other European factories of the company.
Cinese tyres test
Quality requirements are a very important issue. The structures of the large corporations include extensive quality control systems, which are strictly adhered to at all production sites. Recognised manufacturers of car tyres cannot afford to launch products of poor quality on the market.
Chinese tyres - where does the demand come from?
The choice of Chinese tyres is most often determined by economic considerations. Many drivers see them as cheaper tyre replacements from well-known manufacturers.
The market resents void. Chinese tyres are imported into Europe because there is a demand for such cheap products. The tyres of leading brands beat them in all tests. Therefore, they should be treated as budget class products, i.e. a compromise between low price and offered performance and quality.
Chinese tyres - advantages and disadvantages
Chinese summer tyres in particular are very popular in Europe - many drivers have lower expectations of summer tyres because they believe that in summer there are fewer opportunities to drive in extreme conditions. What are the advantages and disadvantages of cheap Chinese tyres?
Chinese tyres - for whom?
Chinese tyres are a reasonable choice for those who:
use the car occasionally,
they cover small distances, mostly in the city,
have cars of urban or lower class.
Budget tyres should not be used by the drivers of cars with higher engine power.
Chinese tyres or retreaded tyres?
Faced with such a choice, it seems that it is better to opt for new tyres from a budget manufacturer. Chinese winter tyres are a better choice because their casing, the inner skeleton, is not fatigued by many kilometres of retreading. Another argument in favour of buying a new item is the warranty, which is obligatory. In addition, a retreaded tyre will never have the same uniformity as a new tyre, which translates into lower comfort, vibration and noise.
Cheap Chinese winter tyres or retreaded tyres?
Can the quality of Chinese tyres be changed in the future?
The automotive industry in Asia is still developing very dynamically. This is evidenced by Chinese car brands. More and more often Chinese car brands appear on European streets, gathering good opinions.
In addition, the obligation to display labels with basic performance information, such as energy efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise, has been in place since 2012.
The Chinese wholesaler slowly ceases to associate Europeans with poorer quality.
Chinese car tyres are not only passenger car tyres. Chinese truck tyres or even Chinese agricultural vehicle tyres are also available.
Other producers in the Far East
Many Asian tyre brands are mistakenly referred to as Chinese. The largest tyre importers also bring in tyres from other countries. Zeetex and Infinity come from the United Arab Emirates. GT Radial is an Indonesian company. The local tyre companies are investing heavily in the development of the automotive industry. Their products are manufactured using the latest technologies and are not inferior to European economic brands. For example, the Zeetex brand is developing so dynamically that many describe it as aspiring to the premium segment. Currently, Zeetex is one of the best economic brands, combining safety, comfort, ecology and attractive price.