2011 Tire Shipments to Grow Nearly Four Percent

OE Markets as Main Contributor

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 2, 2011 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association revised its 2011 tire shipment forecast upward to approximately 4 percent – nearly 11 million units- to 296 million units.

Original equipment (OE) tire shipments for both the light vehicle and commercial truck markets will add approximately 5 million of the combined total 11 million OE and replacement units increase in 2011 as pent up demand for both for light vehicles and especially commercial trucks continues to drive domestic new vehicle sales and production.

Growth in replacement tire shipments will remain modest in 2011 as persistent high fuel costs and little or no change in the number of miles driven will temper the overall growth rate to a little more than 2 percent, or approximately 251 million total units. However, the forecast still remains guardedly optimistic.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee 2011 forecast for key categories include:

• Original Equipment (OE) Passenger Tires: OE tire shipments were revised slightly lower to approximately 36 million units, an 8.5 percent increase. This is a result of decreased vehicle production due to the Japanese earthquake/tsunami and its impact on component suppliers. Total light vehicle sales for 2011 are projected to be approximately 13 million vehicles, up from 11.6 million vehicles sold in 2010.

• Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: This category is forecast to experience an nearly 18 percent increase in 2011 to approximately 4.3 million units due to the shift to larger vehicles as a consequence of pent up demand, buyer incentive programs along with improved economic conditions in commercial sectors that utilize light truck vehicles.

• Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: The forecast for medium OE tire shipments was upwardly revised to approximately 47 percent increase in shipments, or about 4.7 million units. This underscores the pent up demand for commercial trucks and trailers concurrent with a predicted greater than 4 percent increase in the Industrial Production Index.

• Replacement Passenger Tire: Growth in this category is anticipated to be just below 1 percent as continued high energy costs, decreases in non-essential driving, and continued economic uncertainties weigh on the consumer. The nearly 1 percent growth is forecast to result in less than a 2 million unit increase for 2011 with total passenger replacement units reaching approximately 202 million units.

• Replacement Light Truck Tire: This category, represented by small commercial vehicle market – mainly “class 3” trucks, is expected to increase by more than 2 million units to approximately 31 million units in 2011. This equates to a gain of more than 7 percent and is primarily attributed to the economic recovery in the commercial sector.

• Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: The forecast for this market was revised upward as commercial trucking has remained strong concurrent with the predicted 4 percent increase in the Industrial Production Index. As such, the market is anticipated to increase by approximately 2 million units in 2011 to nearly 18 million units.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S. 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 more than 90 percent 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.

Tire Shipments Forecasted to Decline in 2006

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 30, 2006 - Tire shipments are estimated to decrease by 4.5 percent in 2006, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

The decrease in tire shipments reflects the overall slowdown in the U.S. economy during 2006. Factors cited for this slowdown include shrinking GDP during the calendar year, higher energy costs, and a declining housing market.

However, RMA projects a modest rebound in 2007 with the total tire shipments expected to increase by nearly 4 million units to 310 million units, or approximately 1.4 percent. Overall, the combined original equipment and replacement shipments for 2006 auto and truck categories are anticipated to decrease by 14.4 million units to nearly 306 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 8 percent, or 4.6 million units, to approximately 48 million units in 2006 as a result of a decrease in domestic light vehicle sales and subsequent decreases in domestic light vehicle production. No growth is expected in 2007 with total shipments remaining at around the 48 million unit level.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck Tires: Approximately 5 million units are projected to be shipped in 2006 to be followed by a 4 percent, or 200,000 unit increase in 2007. The increase is owed to the demand for small commercial trucks over the next year. 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: Approximately 6.8 million OE units are estimated to be shipped in 2006 for an increase of nearly 9 percent, or 560,000 units. This increase can be attributed to the significant growth of sales of commercial truck vehicles over the calendar year as a result of continued vehicle replacement demand and response to changes in 2007 EPA emission regulations. A sharp decline of approximately 20 percent, or approximately 1.5 million units, is anticipated in 2007 to 5.4 million units given that some pulled-ahead truck sales that would have been realized in 2007 are being shifted to 2006. Note that there has been a change in reporting this category beginning in 2006 as Heavy On-Highway truck tires are now included to obtain a more accurate portrayal of the commercial tire market.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: The passenger replacement market will decrease by approximately 3.2 percent in 2006 to nearly 196 million units, or 6.5 million units. Nonetheless, the P-metric (for SUV type vehicles) and Ultra High Performance tire markets are projected to increase by approximately 4 percent and 12 percent, respectively, compared to 2005. A modest rebound of over 2 percent, or approximately 4 million units, is forecasted in 2007 as the affects of higher energy prices wane. As a result, total passenger replacement shipments are anticipated to reach 200 million units again.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment is projected to decrease by approximately 7.2 percent, or nearly 2.6 million units, to 33.4 million units in 2006 due to the increasing popularity and numbers of cross-over vehicles and smaller SUVs that use P-metric passenger tires rather than light truck tires.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: This market is projected to decrease by approximately 2 percent, or 300,000 units, to 17.2 million units in 2006. However, shipments will increase by the nearly the same number of units in 2007 to reach 17.5 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.