2.8% Increase Predicted in 2006 Tread Rubber Shipments

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 27, 2006 - Economic growth, a strong demand for off-the-road tires, and truck traffic volume will fuel a 2.8 percent increase in 2006 total tread rubber shipments, up from 1.9 percent growth in 2005, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Tread Rubber Market Analysis Committee (TRMAC).

Continued strength in construction, increases in the number of trucks, expansion in the manufacturing sector and positive freight trends are expected to sustain total growth through 2008 of 1.7 percent.

The 2006 forecast will mark the fourth consecutive year that shipments will increase, and represents a total of approximately 16.35 million retreaded tires in the United States.

Retreaded tires are used by commercial aviation, commercial trucks, school buses, and off-the-road vehicles such as industrial, agricultural and mining equipment.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

RMA’s General Products Group Hosts Management Symposium on Rubber Sourcing and Mixing

Event Designed to Promote Consistency, Improved Quality in Rubber Mixing

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 20, 2006 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association’ General Products Group (GPG) will hold a management symposium on May 11 in Akron, OH, titled “Rubber Sourcing & Mixing: Improved Quality and Productivity Begins Upstream.”

The event is intended for industry executives and managers involved in decision making about material mixing needs. This event is a continuation of GPG’s efforts to promote material consistency as a means of improved process and quality.

The agenda includes presentations on facility architecture, custom mix, pre-blends, the future of mixing capabilities, rubber mixing guidelines & best practices, lab instrumentation & testing, proper maintenance & safety practices of mixing equipment, and training procedures of mixing line technicians.

The event will be held at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

Complete details on speakers and registration can be found at www.rma.org. Member registration is $250, and non-member is $500. Additional details can also be requested by contacting Dan Mustico at (202) 682-4866 or dan@rma.org.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Tire Shipments Forecasted to Increase in 2006

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 13, 2006 - Tire shipments for 2006 are expected to increase by just over 1 percent compared to 2005 with increases in the replacement tire market offsetting decreases in the OE markets.

The increases in tire shipments for 2006 continue to reflect steady economic growth in the consumer and commercial sectors. The group projects continued annualized growth of approximately 1.7 percent for total tire shipments through 2011 reflecting increases in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Industrial Production Index (IPI).

Overall, the combined original equipment (OE) and replacement shipments for 2006 auto and truck categories are anticipated to increase by 3.8 million units to nearly 325 million units compared to 320.8 million total shipments in 2005. By 2011, this figure is projected to be approximately 352 million units.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories and their respective segments for 2006 through 2011 include:

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: This market is projected to decrease by more than 2 percent to approximately 52 million units in 2006 as a result of a decrease in domestic light vehicle sales and subsequent decreases in domestic light vehicle production. A modest annualized growth of approximately 1 percent is expected through 2011 as total shipments return to the 55 million unit level as a result of increases in light vehicle sales and production and increases in the popularity of cross-over utility vehicles, which are fitted with OE passenger tires.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck Tires: Approximately 6 million units is projected for 2006 and it is forecasted to remain at or near this level through 2011 as consumers opt for smaller-sized sport utility and light truck vehicles, which are fitted with the P-metric passenger tires. Note that there has been a change in reporting this category beginning in 2006 as Service Trailer tires are no longer included in this category. As such figures for previous years are not comparable.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: Sales of commercial truck vehicles will experience modest growth in 2006 due to continued vehicle replacement demand and response to future changes in EPA emission regulations. The net result will be 6.5 million OE shipments for 2006. A sharp decline of approximately 15 percent is anticipated in 2007 after which growth will be erratic in response to additional EPA emission regulations taking effect in 2010. Note that there has been a change in reporting this category beginning in 2006 as Heavy On-Highway truck tires are now included in order to obtain a more accurate portrayal of the commercial tire market.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: The passenger replacement market will increase by slightly more then 2 percent to over 206 million units for 2006 representing a gain of 4.2 million units over 2005’s shipments. Growth in this category is due predominantly to increases in certain subcategories. The P-metric tire market (for SUV type vehicles) is projected to grow more than 10 percent and the High and Ultra High Performance tire markets are projected to increase more than 5 percent and 11 percent, respectively, compared to 2005. Overall, the passenger replacement market will continue to increase at approximately 2 percent per year through 2011, at which point the total units shipped will approach 227 million. Steady growth in this segment is largely attributed to continued growth in the number of vehicles on the road and increasing vehicle miles traveled.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment is projected to increase by approximately 200,000 units to 36.2 million units in 2006 with continued growth through 2011at an average annualized growth rate of approximately 2 percent or approximately 40 million units shipped.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: This market is projected to be 17.8 million units in 2006 mainly as a result of the continued growth in industrial production. An annualized growth of just less than 1 percent will be realized through 2011at which time shipments are estimated to be over 18 million units. Note that there has been a change in reporting this category beginning in 2006 as Heavy On-Highway truck tires are now included in order to obtain a more accurate portrayal of the commercial tire market.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.