2008 Tire Shipments Drop More Than Six Percent

Further Softening Anticipated in 2009

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.December 1, 2008 - Tire shipments are projected to decline by more than six percent this year compared to 2007 with a further one percent decline predicted for 2009, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Total tire shipments were below 300 million for the first time since 1997 when shipments were 290 million units.

The decrease in tire shipments reflects the sharp downward revisions in the domestic economic conditions predicted for both the consumer and commercial sectors. Overall, the combined OE and replacement tire shipments for 2008 light vehicle and truck categories are anticipated to decrease by more than 20 million units to approximately 290 million total shipments compared to the 310 million total shipments in 2007.

A further slight decline of approximately 3 million total units to nearly 287 million total units is anticipated for 2009 as an economic rebound is unlikely to occur until the latter half of the year.

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

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: This category is projected to decrease by more than 14 percent to approximately 39 million units in 2008 as a result of continued decreases in domestic vehicle production. A further decrease of approximately 3 percent is expected for 2009 owing to a delayed economic recovery and continued market share gains for light vehicle imports. Note that this projection does not account for any changes to the auto industry as a result of recent requests for federal financial assistance or potential for bankruptcy.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: 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 have combined to significantly impact light truck vehicles fitted with LT tires. As a result, RMA forecasts a decrease of approximately 34 percent in 2008 for a total of 2.9 million OE units, representing a 1.5 million unit decrease from 2007’s total. For 2009, another 100,000 unit decrease is anticipated owing to the slow economic recovery and its impact on the commercial sectors that utilize light truck vehicles.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: For 2008, this category is predicted to decrease by approximately 16 percent to nearly 3.9 million units. This decrease is attributed to the larger than anticipated economic slowdown in the commercial sector. This will continue into 2009 and as a result, RMA forecasts a further decrease of approximately 8 percent or 300,000 units for a total of 3.6 million units. Given this protracted economic downturn, the expected pull-forward effect of truck sales into 2009 owing to anticipated changes in EPA regulations in 2010 has been discounted.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: The slowing economy, higher energy costs and declines in miles traveled contributed to this market’s decline. As a consequence, this category will realize a nearly 2.7 percent decrease, or approximately 5.5 million units, reaching a level of 198 million units in 2008. No growth is expected for 2009 due to the soft economic conditions.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: The forecast for this market segment is a 4.5 million unit decrease, or nearly 13 percent, to about 29 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 miles driven will contribute to a further projected 4 percent decline in replacement LT tire shipments in 2009.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: RMA forecasts a decline to approximately 15.4 million units in 2008, a decrease of nearly 1.2 million units or 7.1 percent over 2007. The market will realize another decrease of 300,000 units in 2009 as fewer goods will be transported as a result of the economic slowdown and protracted recovery.

 

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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.

2008 TIRE SHIPMENTS REVISED DOWNWARD

Original Equipment Passenger Tires Down To 1991 Levels

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 4, 2008 - Tire shipments are projected to decline by nearly 4 percent this year compared to 2007, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

The decline in tire shipments reflects the worsening domestic economic pressures predicted for both the consumer and commercial sectors. Overall, the combined OE and replacement tire shipments for 2008 light vehicle and truck categories are anticipated to decrease by more than 12 million units to approximately 298 million total shipments. Shipments totaled 310 million units in 2007.

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

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: This category is projected to decrease by more than 11 percent to approximately 41 million units in 2008 as a result of continued decreases in domestic vehicle production. This will mark the lowest level of OE shipments since 1991 when OE shipments stood at 41.8 million units. A further decrease of approximately 3 percent is expected for 2009 owing to a protracted economic recovery and continued market share gains for light vehicle imports.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: Due to the fundamental shift in 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, light truck vehicles fitted with LT tires will be significantly impacted. A decrease of more than 35 percent is projected for 2008 accounting for approximately 1.6 million fewer units shipped from the 4.4 million total OE units in 2007. For 2009, a modest 200,000 unit increase is anticipated owing to resumption of economic growth in the commercial sectors that utilize light truck vehicles.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: For 2008, this category is projected to decrease by approximately 12 percent to nearly 4.1 million units. This decrease is attributed to the larger than anticipated economic slowdown in the commercial sector. However a considerable rebound of more than 24 percent is forecasted for 2009 as economic activity improves and truck sales increase. Anticipation of changes in EPA regulations for 2010 will inspire a pull-forward effect of truck sales into 2009.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: A slowing economy and high energy prices are factors in a reduction in consumer driving. As a consequence, this category will realize a nearly 1 percent decrease, or approximately 2 million units, reaching a level of 202 million units in 2008. The 2009 forecast is for no growth due to continuing difficult economic conditions.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment is projected to decrease by approximately 2.4 million units, or nearly 7 percent, to about 32 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 miles driven will contribute to a further projected 5 percent decline in replacement LT tire shipments in 2009.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: This market is projected to decline to approximately 16 million units in 2008, a decrease of nearly 600,000 units or 3.5 percent over 2007. Again, the decrease reflects a further weakening of the economy and protracted recovery as fewer goods are being transported.

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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 analyst 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.

Slight Growth Predicted for 2007 Tire Shipments

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.December 14, 2007 - Tire shipments are expected to increase slightly in 2007 as growth in the replacement markets will offset declines in the original equipment (OE) tire markets, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association

Revisions to RMA’s 2007 tire shipments forecast are a reflection of revised U.S. economic growth forecasts for both the consumer and commercial sectors. RMA projects that replacement tire markets in 2007 will show an increase of approximately 2.7 percent with OE markets declining nearly 8.2 percent.

Overall, the combined OE and replacement shipments for 2007 auto and truck categories are expected to increase by 1.8 million units, or 0.6 percent to approximately 308 million total shipments.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories and their respective segments for 2007 include:

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: For 2007, this market is projected to decrease by approximately 2.2 million units to 46.0 million units or 4.5 percent. This is a result of weaker than anticipated new vehicle sales, which has caused domestic fourth quarter production cuts. Moderate growth of approximately 2 percent is forecast for 2008 to match the increase in domestic light vehicle production.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: Shipments are predicted to be approximately 4.4 million units in 2007, representing a decrease of approximately 12 percent or 600,000 units versus 2006 levels. This decrease is attributed to more consumer light truck type vehicles being fitted with P-metric passenger tires rather than LT tires and further cuts in domestic vehicle production. However, a growth of over 4% to 4.6 million units is forecast for 2008 as this category is expected to be more dependent on commercial light truck applications and domestic vehicle production is expected to increase.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: Sales of commercial truck vehicles have experienced a sharp drop in 2007 as changes in EPA regulations pulled forward 2007 truck sales into 2006. As a result, this category is forecast to decrease nearly 31 percent for the year, or approximately 2.1 million units for a total of 4.7 million units. However a moderate rebound of 6.4 percent to approximately 5 million units total is forecast for 2008 as production returns to more normal levels.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: Passenger replacement market will experience an increase of 3.3 percent in 2007 to reach approximately 203 million in total. This represents an increase of 6.5 million units over 2006’s shipments as a result of pent up demand from 2006 and the increase in imported tires. Growth in 2008 is projected to increase by nearly 2.5 percent, or approximately 5 million units as the number of registered light vehicles continue to increase. Vehicle miles driven in the U.S. have not been significantly affected by higher fuel costs.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment is forecast to increase by approximately 600,000 units to approximately 34.2 million units in 2007 primarily a result of higher demand from commercial vehicles using LT type tires. Shipments in 2008 are forecast to increase by 1 million units as a result of higher vehicle registrations.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: The forecast for this market is forecast to reach 16.4 million units in 2007, a decrease of 2.7 percent or 500,000 units from 2006’s shipments, reflecting a weaker economic forecast for the fourth quarter of 2007. However, a nearly 3 percent rebound is forecast for 2008, or 500,000 additional units, as the nation’s industrial sector gains momentum.

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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.

No Growth Predicted for 2007 Tire Shipments

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 16, 2007 - Tire shipments are expected to decrease slightly in 2007 as modest gains in the replacement markets are offset by further weakening in the original equipment (OE) tire markets, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association

Revisions to RMA’s 2007 tire shipments forecast reflect changes in U.S. economic growth predictions for both the consumer and commercial sectors. The group projects that replacement tire markets in 2007 will show an increase of nearly 2 percent with OE markets declining approximately 8 percent.

Overall, the combined OE and replacement shipments for 2007 auto and truck categories are anticipated to decrease by fewer then one million units to approximately 306 million total shipments.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories and their respective segments for 2007 include:

• Original Equipment Passenger Tires: This market is projected to decrease by approximately 4.5 percent in 2007 to 46.0 million units from 48.2 million units in 2006 as a result of further decreases in domestic light vehicle sales and production. Little or no change in the shipments is projected for the near future as imported vehicles increase their share in the light vehicle markets.

• Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: Less then 4.5 million OE units are forecasted to be shipped in 2007, representing a decrease of approximately 12 percent or 600,000 units over 2006 levels as a result of more light truck type vehicles being fitted with P-metric passenger tires rather than LT tires. Future growth in this category is expected to be slight as growth will be more dependent on commercial light truck applications.

• Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: Sales of commercial truck vehicles have experienced a sharper drop then anticipated for 2007 as changes in EPA regulations pulled forward 2007 truck sales into 2006. As a result, the forecast for this category has been revised further downward to a projected 29 percent decrease in OE shipments for 2007, or nearly 4.8 million units total, or approximately 2 million units less then the 6.8 million units shipped in 2006.

• Replacement Passenger Tire: Passenger replacement market will experience an increase of nearly 2 percent to approximately 200 million units in 2007 representing a gain of 4 million units over 2006’s shipments. Growth in this category is predominately a result of increases in the P-metric tire market (for SUV and smaller Pick-up trucks), which is projected to grow more than 8 percent, and the High and Ultra High Performance tire markets, which are projected to increase more than 6 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Growth in this segment is expected to continue as driving habits have not materially changed as a result of higher fuel costs, and tire purchases deferred in 2006 are beginning to appear in 2007.

• Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment is forecasted to increase by approximately 500,000 units to approximately 34 million units in 2007 primarily a result of higher demand from commercial vehicles using LT type tires.

• Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: The forecast for this market has been revised to 16.4 million units in 2007, a decrease of 500,000 units from 2006’s shipments, reflecting the slightly weaker economic forecast for the remainder of 2007.

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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.

Little Growth Predicted for 2007 Tire Shipments

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 13, 2007 - Tire shipments for 2007 are expected to increase slightly compared to 2006 as limited growth in the replacement tire market will be offset by decreases in the original equipment (OE) markets, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association

Tire shipments for 2007 will reflect the moderate domestic economic growth predicted for both the consumer and commercial sectors. The group projects that in 2007 the replacement tire markets will show an increase of 1.4 percent with OE markets declining 3.8 percent.

Overall, the combined OE and replacement shipments for 2007 auto and truck categories are anticipated to increase by just over one million units to approximately 307 million total shipments.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories and their respective segments for 2007 include:

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: This market is projected to decrease in 2007 by approximately 2 percent to 47.3 million units compared to 2006 as a result of a decrease in domestic light vehicle sales and production. This will represent the second year in which light vehicle sales and production have decreased. However, it is anticipated that beginning in 2008 domestic light vehicle sales and production will increase. This, combined with the rising popularity of cross-over utility vehicles fitted with OE passenger tires (rather than light truck tires), are expected to have a positive impact in this category
  • Original Equipment Light Truck Tires: Slightly more then 5 million OE units are forecasted to be shipped in 2007, representing a gain of approximately 1 percent over 2006 levels as a result of increases in domestic light truck production. Any future growth in this sector will be slight as consumers opt for smaller-sized sport utility and light truck vehicles fitted with the P-metric passenger tires.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: Sales of commercial truck vehicles will experience a sharp drop in 2007 as changes in EPA regulations pulled forward 2007 demand into 2006. The net result will be 21 percent decrease in OE shipments for 2007, or approximately 1.4 million units less then the 6.8 million units shipped in 2006. Future growth is expected to be erratic owing to additional EPA emission regulations taking effect in 2010.
  • Replacement Passenger Tires: The passenger replacement market will increase by a modest 1.4 percent to approximately 199 million units in 2007 representing a gain of 2.7 million units over 2006’s shipments. Growth in this category is predominantly a result of increases in the P-metric tire market (for SUV type vehicles), which is projected to grow more than 7 percent, and the High and Ultra High Performance tire markets, which are projected to increase more than 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively, compared to 2006. Overall, the passenger replacement market will continue to increase by approximately 2 percent through 2009. 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 Tires: This market segment is projected to increase by approximately 800,000 units to 34.4 million units in 2007 with continued growth through 2009 at an average annualized growth rate of approximately 2 percent.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: This market is projected to be 16.9 million units in 2007, essentially unchanged from 2006’s shipments. However, this category is also forecasted to realize an annualized growth of just less than 2 percent through 2009.

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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.

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.