Indian Tyres V/s Chines Tyres. Why are Chinese Tyres up to 60% Cheaper? And what about quality?

Before we get to the difference between Indian tyres and chinese tyres, it would help to know how many kind of buyers are out there?

  1. Strictly decide as per budget, not even one rupee over the budget. If budget is less then this category of buyer will probably go to a near by car market hoping for the best possible in the lowest rate possible. In case the budget is high, even then the buyer is already decided which tyre to buy and would go to the market hoping to get something off.
  2. Then there are buyers who would buy the cheapest available tyre with no focus on any other feature.
  3. Then there are buyers who feel tyres change the entire look of the vehicle and would choose the best looking tyre in the market.
  4. Then there are people who leave it up to the chauffeur to go and change the tyres as long as they get the bill.
  5. Then there are people who only get tyres changed from showrooms due to lack of trust in any after market accessories.
Chinese tyres or indian tyres

If you think Chinese tyres are a choice of a particular segment in the above listed out ones, think again. Tyres imported from China are in the equation of almost every decision leading to purchase, no matter what kind of a buyer one may be.

Let us now understand the different phases of purchase.
Now tyres are available on online shopping portals and it is picking up quite quickly as buyers are just too busy to go out and spend half a holiday changing tyres. Many sellers offer onsite installation of tyres. Some order tyres and get them changed from a petrol pump at a cost.

Then there are buyers who go to ten shops and find out the best prices, before deciding which one to buy and then there are people who go to one shop and bargain till the price arrives at an acceptable level.

Either way, price of the tyre plays a major role in all the segments and all kind of purchasing behavior. Guarantee by the tyre manufacturer definitely matters as it gives a sense of trust in the quality.

Ofcourse quality of the tyre cannot be taken out of the equation. Are Chinese tyres cheaper because somewhere there is a compromise on quality or research & development?

On an average, a regular tyre can last for 50K to 60K kilometers. However, sellers claim that the Chinese tyres can last up to 70K kilometers.


One would like to raise a question., If cheap imported tyres were so low on quality, then have they lasted for so long in the Indian market, are we so conscious about price that we compromise on quality without at a blink of an eye?

The tyre industry in India is full of dilemmas. Why? you ask.

The tyre industry is highly dependent of Natural Rubber (NR). Tyre manufacturers use Indian as well as imported NR in their facilities. Indian tyre manufacturers are not getting any respite as both Indian and imported NR costs them more than it costs their global competitors who are dumping cheaper tyres in India. NR is mostly imported from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

On the other hand the duties levies on imported tyres do not give a level playing field to Indian manufacturers. Tyres are mainly imported from China which heavily subsidies its tyre manufacturing industry. The government in its current budget has proposed to increase the tax on pneumatic from 15% to 40% that is an increase of 25%.

Will that level the prices? Not really. It is the consumer that pays or save the difference. Dealers on the other hand, push really hard to sell the imported tyres. They sound very convincing and the imported tyres look premium and the tread designs look somewhat better, and then of course there is the price factor. Resist for a while and this conviction begins to sound more like desperation. Why are dealers so desperate to sell Chinese products?

The answer lies in the term called “dealer margin”. Even after the taxes, a small compromise on margin will keep the prices of these imported tyres low enough to lure buyers.

Another major factor that pushes Indian tyre prices up is the guarantee which is included in what the consumer pays. Most of these cheaper imported tyres do not come with guarantee. To counter this, the Indian manufacturers have also come up with no guarantee cheaper tyres.

As far as quality is concerned, Indian government has quality standards which all tyres sold in the Indian market must meet. so wherever these tyres may be coming from, they have to meet the safety norms set by the Indian Government.

So which one should you buy? Chinese tyres or Indian tyres?

If you are a regular city driver, then the question or concern of quality should not bother you too much as there are speed regulations and not enough space. On the other hand, would you like to place the safety of your family on tyres that do not have any owner or accountability?

Just like everything else, peace of mind costs money as well. So the decision is up to the buyer whether they want to drive with peace of mind or on imported tyres?

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1 Response

  1. March 12, 2020

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