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2009 Tire Shipments Expected to Decline by 7%

Tire shipments are expected to fall flat again in 2009.

Tire shipments are expected to fall flat again in 2009.

After a rough year in which the tire industry saw shipments fall by nearly 9 percent, the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association doesn’t have any good news to report about their forecasts for 2009. Thanks to a sharp decline in consumer confidence, high unemployment, low sales of new cars, and less driving, the RMA expects tire shipments to fall another 7% this year.

A 7 percent drop translates to loss of roughly 21 million units to 261 million, a level that hasn’t been seen in over 15 years. The last peak occurred in 2000 when shipments reached 321 million units. Despite projections for another sour year, shipment levels are expected to rebound modestly in 2010.

Here’s a breakdown of how tire shipments were affected in 2008:

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