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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.”

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

Most popular tire sizes in 2008

most-popular-tire-sizes

Each year the Rubber Manufacturers Association publishes its annual breakdown of the most popular tire sizes in its “Preliminary Tire Industry Factbook.” The 2009 edition has just been released and it looks as if the top four replacement tires from last year have held their ground in the top spots. Original equipment tire sizes were a different story, where there were a few noteworthy ranking changes.

The four most popular replacement tire sizes (calculated as a percentage of the total tires shipped by RMA-member companies) were:

  1. P225/60R16
  2. P235/75R15
  3. P205/65R15
  4. P215/70R15

Original equipment tire sizes ranked as follows:

  1. P215/60R16 (8% of RMA shipments)
  2. P225/55R17 (4.8%…up from #8 in last year’s report)
  3. P265/70R17
  4. P195/60R15
  5. P215/55R17

The 2009 report is valuable information for both wholesale tire distributors as well as brick-and-mortar and online tire stores who are wondering what to stock in the new year. Using this analysis is an easy way to guage which sizes are going to sell often.

Filed under: Tire News, Tire Sales

Snow tire demand climbs as winter storms engulf US

wholesale-snow-tires

As bitter cold and snow slow traffic across the U.S., many wholesale tire distributors are reporting increased demand for snow tires. People who find themselves stuck in their driveways, on the road, or even in the middle of intersections are paying a visit to their local tire shop as soon as they manage to dig themselves out.

Jeffrey Pettingill, an employee at Big O Tires in Idaho Falls, claims that the shop is now installing 1,500-2,000 new snow tires per day, and that several re-orders throughout the day aren’t uncommon.

Snow tires feature special tread patterns that are engineered to give the vehicle more traction and grip on snow-covered or icy roads. These special tires are also manufactured using softer rubber that allows them to remain flexible in freezing temperatures. Although the tires may carry price tags of up to $100 or more, experts say that if they prevent just one accident, they’ve already paid for themselves many times over!

Source: KIDK Idaho Falls

Filed under: Snow Tires, Tire News, Tire Sales,

Michelin expects 4th quarter profit drop

michellin-tires-logoThe current worldwide economic downturn is hitting tire manufacturers hard, as sales to carmakers continue to drop steeply in the face of lower consumer demand for new vehicles. Michelin announced today that they expected their recent production cuts to bite into their 4th quarter profits.

As car sales decline across the globe, demand for passenger car and light truck tires continues to mirror the drop.  Tire sales to carmakers fell by 33.5% in Europe and 31% in North America last month compared to November 2007 sales figures.

Michelin North America plans to make use of temporary layoffs at the Donaldson plant in South Carolina in order to reduce production of wholesale tires.  The French tiremaker is only one of many manufacturers that are feeling the pinch thanks to lower auto sales across the board.

Filed under: Michellin Tires, Tire News, Tire Sales, , , , ,