RMA to Coordinate and Participate in Industrial Byproducts Workshop in San Diego

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 31, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), in coordination with the Industrial Resources Council, is conducting a one day workshop on the use of industrial byproducts in highway construction in San Diego, on April 20.

“RMA has always sought to work with other stakeholders in an effort to provide the most timely information that will allow us to expand markets for scrap tires,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “This workshop will provide a venue where new market opportunities can be explored.”

The workshop is being sponsored by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the City/County of San Diego and the San Diego Environmental Services Department. The workshop is being coordinated by the Industrial Resource Council (IRC), and will feature presentations on scrap tires and construction and demolition debris.

“The focus of the workshop is to educate the highway community, state and county officials on the engineering and economic benefits of using industrial byproducts in a highway construction,” Blumenthal said. “Our goal is to provide a one-stop learning experience where highway and construction officials can learn about these materials.

Additionally, the program will include a Federal Highway Administration presentation on their Green Highway Partnership and a presentation on the flow of used tires from California into Mexico.

The workshop will be held at the auditorium at the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department, 9601 Ridgehaven Court, San Diego, CA 92123-1636 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

To register for the event, visit www.rma.org/scrap_tires/conferences_and_events.

The IRC is comprised of organizations representing industrial byproducts. Currently the members of the IRC are: the American Coal Ash Association; the Construction Materials Recycling Association; the Foundry Industry Recycling Starts Today (FIRST); the National Council for Air & Stream Improvement (NCASI); the National Slag Association (NSA) and Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include 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.

2009 Tire Shipments to Drop Seven Percent

Rebound Anticipated in 2010 for Both Consumer and Commercial Sectors

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 16, 2009 - Tire shipments are projected to drop more than 7 percent in 2009 following a nearly 9 percent drop in 2008, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Total 2009 tire shipments are projected to decline approximately 21 million units to 261 million, a level last experienced in 1993 and approximately 60 million units fewer than the 321 million unit peak in 2000.

The decrease in tire shipments reflects the continued erosion of consumer confidence, higher unemployment, depressed auto sales, a decline in vehicle miles travelled and downward revisions in domestic economic conditions for both the consumer and commercial sectors.

A turnaround is projected to begin in 2010, in line with economic forecasts, where the industry is expected to realize a modest recovery nearing the 270 million unit level.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories and their respective segments for 2008 include:

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: Decreases in domestic vehicle production led an 18.7 percent decline to 37.6 million units in 2008. Further decreases in domestic vehicle production will result in a nearly 22 percent decrease in 2009 shipments to approximately 29 million units. However, as the economy emerges from the recession in 2010, a rebound in vehicle sales and subsequent vehicle production is anticipated, which will result in a nearly 6 million unit recovery in this category. Note that this projection does not account for any changes to the auto industry as a result of recent federal intervention and/or the potential for bankruptcy.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: The combination of consumer demand for vehicles with higher fuel economy, a shift in vehicle fitments to P-Metric passenger tires and market share increases by import vehicle manufacturers, will all continue to significantly impact light truck vehicles fitted with LT tires. As a result, this category experienced a decrease of 34.5 percent in 2008 for a total of 2.9 million OE units. For 2009, another 900,000 unit decrease is anticipated owing to the slower economic conditions and its impact on the commercial sectors that utilize light truck vehicles. However, a nearly 300,000 unit gain is anticipated in 2010.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: For 2008, this category decreased by 17.6 percent to 3.8 million units, attributable to the larger than anticipated economic slowdown in the commercial sector. Given the further decreases in economic activity forecasted for this sector in 2009, another nearly 30 percent decline to approximately 2.6 million units is anticipated. However, the economic rebound projected for 2010 along with pent up demand for vehicles is projected to result in a net gain of approximately 600,000 units increase in shipments.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: The slowing economy, decline in vehicle miles traveled and consumers squeezing more miles out of their tires, all contributed to a 10.2 million unit decline, a decrease of 5 percent, for a total of 193.8 million units in 2008. Furthermore, given the expected soft economic conditions for 2009, the market will realize another decrease of nearly 3.5 percent, or approximately 7 million units, reaching a level of 187 million units — a figure that approximates passenger replacement shipments of a decade ago. Growth is anticipated to resume in 2010 with the replacement sector estimated to increase by approximately 3 million units, or less than 2 percent, mirroring the projected measured growth in the consumer sector.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment realized a drop of 14 percent, or 4.8 million units, for a total of 29.4 million units in 2008. Although the number of vehicles for this market remains steady and largely represented by small commercial vehicles, declining economic conditions and fewer vehicle miles travelled will contribute to a nearly 8 percent decline in replacement LT tire shipments in 2009. However, an increase of nearly 6 percent is anticipated in 2010 in step with commercial economic forecasts.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: This market declined to 14.8 million units in 2008, a decrease of nearly 1.7 million units or 10.4 percent. The market will realize another decrease of 1.6 million units in 2009 as fewer goods will be transported as a result of the economic slowdown and protracted recovery. But given the economic rebound forecast for 2010, this market is expected to increase to nearly 14 million units.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 80 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee is comprised of tire market professionals representing the major U.S. tire manufacturers, which account for over 90percent of all U.S. tire shipments. Their analyses and forecasts of current and future industry activity include a review of RMA tire industry and economic data, government trade figures, and vehicle sales and production. TMAC develops its consensus view for tire demand from this process. The views expressed in this release are not the sole opinion of any one committee member, member company, or RMA representative.

RMA Urges Ohio to Enact Primary Seat Belt Law

Letter to Ohio Senate

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 11, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association is urging Ohio lawmakers to enact legislation to improve motorist seat belt use.

A measure to allow police to pull over motorists only for failing to buckle up passed the Ohio House last week. The measure is expected to face opposition in the Senate.

In a letter to Ohio state senators, RMA President and CEO Charles A. Cannon noted the tire and rubber manufacturing industry’s long history in Ohio as well as the industry’s strong commitment to safety.

“Manufacturing the only automotive product that touches the road means safety is the single highest priority for tire makers,” Cannon wrote. “Automotive and tire research and innovation have made vehicles and vehicle components increasingly safe over the last several decades.

“Unfortunately, not even these fundamental technological leaps can always protect vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. While technologically simpler than many of today’s vehicle components, the seatbelt remains our nation’s most formidable weapon against motor vehicle fatalities and injuries.”

Using lap/shoulder belts reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent. States that have enacted primary seat belt enforcement have a 10-15 percent higher use rate compared to states with only secondary enforcement.

Ohio Senate hearings are scheduled today and tomorrow on HB 2, legislation that includes the primary seat belt enforcement provision. A broad coalition including automotive manufacturers, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, health care organizations, national and local safety organizations, supports the provision.

“The annual loss of 42,000 lives on U.S. highways is a national tragedy,” Cannon said. “Although it is a simple task, too many Americans continue to drive or ride in vehicles at great personal risk by not wearing a seatbelt. Increasing the ability of law enforcement to ticket seat belt avoidance will help improve Ohio’s seat belt compliance. Doing this will prevent the loss of life as well as the accompanying suffering of loved ones who bear the scars of bereavement over the often unnecessary loss of family or friends.”

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include 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.

Proposed State Tire Fee Hike Won’t Clean Up Scrap Tires

45 Million Scrap Tires Litter Centennial State – Worst In Nation

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 5, 2009 - Buying a set of four tires will cost Colorado consumers an additional $13 if lawmakers approve a proposed increase in the state tire fee to $3.25 per tire.

State tire fees are typically used to pay for the cleanup of discarded tires and creation of markets for scrap tires. Unfortunately, Colorado diverts 80 percent of the current tire fee to other purposes and has not been active in either stockpile abatement or developing markets for the 4.5 million scrap tires the State generates each year.

A state-by-state survey of scrap tire management progress conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) shows Colorado has the most stockpiled tires of any state with 45 million tires, creating a health, safety, fire and environmental hazard.

“Colorado’s pro-environment reputation is challenged by the state’s abysmal record in managing waste tires,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president.

If the $1.75 per-tire fee hike is enacted, Colorado consumers will pay the state $13 for every set of four tires purchased. The total take for the state will amount to more than $14 million annually but none of those funds would be used to clean up the largest scrap tire pile in the U.S. – some 40 million tires in El Paso County.

Last week, the Colorado Senate approved SB09-31 18-15 to raise the state tire fee by $1.75 and use the funds for economic development. The House may address the measure shortly.

Nationwide, states have been vigorously cleaning up stockpiled waste tires and working to foster the creation of productive markets that reuse tires. In 1990, more than one billion tires were stockpiled nationwide and only 11 percent of scrap tires were reused.

Today, about 125 million tires remain stockpiled and more than 85 percent of annually generated scrap tires are reused. Colorado is home to more than one third of all the stockpiled scrap tires in the country.

The tire industry, led by RMA, has been working for nearly two decades to promote market-based solutions to using scrap tires and reasonable regulations to clean up piles of scrap tires. RMA supports fees on new tires to fund scrap tire management goals. The group opposes efforts to use such revenue for non-scrap tire purposes.

“It makes sense to impose fees on tires if the funds are used to address scrap tire issues,” Blumenthal said. “But when these revenues are hijacked for other purposes, a state may suffer far worse environmental consequences and cleanup costs if a major tire stockpile catches fire. In too many states, this failure to act has caused significant environmental harm and cost the state tens of millions of dollars in clean up costs.”

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include 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.