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The tire market, like almost any other, is littered with Chinese manufacturers who offer their products at a lower price than the most prestigious brands. But, is it really worth saving on a vital element for our security?

In recent years, China has developed an overwhelming market share in many sectors, especially technology. The case of the automotive industry is no different and little by little the brands of the eastern country begin to gain presence and prestige.

Not only that, numerous European and American brands try their luck in the Chinese market, creating factories or even specific products for its inhabitants. The appeal lies not only in the huge population present, but also in the cheap labor and raw materials, as well as a much lower tax burden.

Why are we talking about this?

Because the first distinction we must make is between Chinese brand tires and those of foreign brands that manufacture their product in China. This is the case of first-rate manufacturers such as Michelin, but the products that come out of their factories should not be compared to those of the more than 300 brands of Chinese origin that we can find in the market, especially since only some of them are really reliable. .

Taking as an example again Michelin, one of the largest manufacturers in the world and which enjoys a lot of prestige, tires made in France and those made in China have exactly the same specifications, the same raw material and equally trained and specialized employees. .

Therefore, they have the same quality since they use the same technology as in their headquarters.

Why is a Chinese tire cheaper?

This is not the case for most Chinese brands, which not only offer a cheaper product for the reasons described above in relation to labor, raw materials and taxes, but also because quality standards are less restrictive and demanding.

In some cases, manufacturing technologies are less advanced, rubber and other raw materials are of poorer quality, and manufacturing processes are less precise. All this results in that, generally, these tires are worse than those of the first brands, although it is also true that they are usually better than used or retreaded ones.

In summary, Chinese tires are inexpensive products with lower performance, but in any case they must pass the controls of the European Union in order to be sold in the countries of the old continent.

Does that mean they have bad quality?

No way. It depends on the brand. The truth is that they have a required minimum of quality, which otherwise could not exceed the quality controls imposed by the destination countries. The truth is that China, for years, has forced companies that wish to settle there, to associate with a local company. In this way, they ensure a technology transfer and manufacturing know-how to local companies. It also makes sense from the market side, something totally new for a European or American company: the cultural change is tremendous in addition to the language.

This commercial and technological association made many Chinese companies have an exponential learning curve, and in a few years they acquired the quality and productivity standards of the best brands in the world. Some of them are already in the top 5 in the industry.

The growth speed of these companies was based on two or three fundamental premises:

  • The enormous work capacity, with extended hours and super competitive salaries
  • Very low corporate costs
  • Permanent reinvestment of profits
  • Low tax pressure
  • Permanent promotion of exports, with competitive interest rates with the best economies in the world
  • Exchange rate favorable to exports and investment in technology

Qualities that defines a good tire

Let's remember what are the benefits of a basic tire, we must be clear about what a good product should offer:

  • Stopping distance
  • Good grip in dry and wet
  • Reduction of aquaplaning
  • Rolling resistance
  • Reduction of fuel consumption
  • Good behavior in difficult conditions
  • Maneuverability and stability at high speeds
  • Optimal material reaction at low temperatures
  • Durability

Advantages and disadvantages of Chinese tires

Once we know what a good tire offers the driver, we must take into account what a Chinese product usually offers, although obviously each make and model can improve or deteriorate the general average. What do they provide that can convince us to buy them to the detriment of tires from proven brands?
Great variety
The truth, and like what happens in other industries, it cannot be generalized that the quality of Chinese tires is inferior. There are factories installed in China and Southeast Asia, which have already incorporated state-of-the-art technologies, operating fully automated and robotic industrial plants. I was able to verify that the products that arrive in our country have outstanding characteristics in terms of completion. And that is seen in that they practically do not need balancing, due to the distribution of the material with robotic precision.

The most popular Chinese manufacturers

As with mobile phones and many other products from China, tires are a true reflection of the rapid increase in quality that the gigantic Asian country is able to confer on its manufactures.
Currently there are some brands that have reached a remarkable level of quality and that can be considered reliable and recommended when fitting our vehicle with their tires.
The largest Chinese tire manufacturers are:
Zhongce Rubber Group (Westlake, Chaoyang, Arisun, Goodride y Trazano)
Giti Tire Investment
Sailun Jinyu Group (Sailun y Jinyu)
Shandong Ling long Tire
Zhengxin Rubber (industrial tires)
Double star Group (Double Star y Kumho)
Double Coin Holdings (heavy truck, 4x4 & industrials)
Likewise, in this context we can include other Asian tire brands that, although not of Chinese origin, represent the same type of product on the market:
Zeetex e Infinity (United Arab Emirates)
GT Radial (Indonesia)
Nexen (Corea del Sur)
Nankang (Taiwan)


The brands of tires mentioned are at the same level as tires of European or American origin. The only thing that could vary is the performance that may be better or slightly less, due to the local driving style, the type of asphalt and the ambient temperature. These variables make it sometimes necessary to adjust the tread compounds. Remember that the construction configuration of a tire is always based on service ranges.

vs Oct 2023
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