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RMA: US replacement tire market is on the rebound

Finally, some good news for the tire industry. Members of the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association reported yesterday that demand for replacement tires grew 9.3% year-over-year in the US during December. These numbers signify signs of a rebound for the replacement tire market, which has been hard hit in the last year amid a far-reaching global recession.  Domestic tire manufacturers such as Cooper and Goodyear seem to have gained market share, as the overall market volume grew 6.1%. This is believed to be a result of the tire tariffs imposed on Chinese tire manufacturers by the Obama administration. As Chinese manufacturers lose ground due to the tariff, domestic manufacturers are stepping and in and filling the demand.

In light of this news, financial analysts at Deutsche Bank expect Goodyear and Cooper’s volumes to grow to 4% and 13%, instead of the current negative growth trends that both companies are currently experiencing.

In a further investor’s note published Jan. 13, Deutsche Bank described the North American fourth quarter 2009 market recovery as a “meaningful volume uptick.” Meanwhile, Europe is said to have experienced “strong sales of winter tires.” Tire trends in Asia are also said to be encouraging, with Goodyear “particularly exposed to Australia, which has experienced a strong recovery as rising commodity prices have boosted that economy.”


Filed under: Cooper Tires, Goodyear Tires, Rubber Manufacturers Association, Tire News, Tire Sales, , , , ,

1 out of every 9 drivers running on bald tires


A new RMA survey that monitored 7,000 vehicles found that almost 11% of drivers are riding on at least one bald tire.

When it comes to tires, bald is definitely not beautiful. In a study that should be distributed far and wide in the wake of announcing the dates for 2010 Tire Safety Week, a new RMA survey found that at least 11% of motorists in the U.S. are driving on at least one bald tire.

Rubber Manufacturers Association CEO Charles Cannon speculates that the global economy could be at least partly responsible for the surprising survey results: “In this bad economy, drivers may be delaying necessary vehicle maintenance to save costs. But that delay may cost you more dearly if worn-out tires lead to a crash with injuries or fatalities.”

Driving on worn tires is especially dangerous during this time of the year, when wet or icy road surfaces pose even greater difficulties for worn tires that are past their functional prime. Bald tires are susceptible to losing grip on the road on wet roads, causing hydroplaning and loss of control that can easily lead to a crash. Hydroplaning is a dangerous occurence that involves the vehicle riding on a thin film of water, not the actual road surface. Bald tires that can’t efficiently move water can hydroplane quite easily.

The RMA urges motorists to monitor the tread depth on their tires to make sure it is always above the legal 2/32 inch. In addition to checking tire tread, drivers should also keep an eye on tire inflation. Bald and underinflated tires are a recipe for disaster for you and everyone you share the nation’s roads with.

Recommended reading: How To Properly Maintain Your Tires.

Filed under: Rubber Manufacturers Association, Tire Care, Tire Safety, , , ,