2010 U.S. Tire Shipments to Post Nine Percent Increase

Growth to Moderate in 2011

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.December 1, 2010 - Tire shipments are projected to increase by more than 9 percent in 2010 due to sharp increases in original equipment manufacturer (OEM) passenger and commercial truck tires as well as increases in passenger and commercial truck replacement shipments, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Total 2010 tire shipments are projected to increase by approximately 24 million units to 284 million units – a 9 percent increase compared to 2009. Nearly half this increase is attributed to the large increases in OE tire shipments, owing to the resumption of domestic vehicle manufacturing as well as an increase in light vehicle sales driven by manufacturer’s incentive programs and low auto loan interest rates during the 2010 calendar year.

Replacement shipments will also experience significant growth in 2010 as a result of increases in vehicle miles travelled, stable energy prices, longer vehicle life and overall positive domestic economic conditions for both the consumer and commercial sectors.

An additional two percent growth in tire shipments is forecast for 2011, reaching nearly 290 million units as economic uncertainty will restrain growth for overall tire shipments.

RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories and their respective segments for 2010 and 2011 include:

  • Original Equipment (OE) Passenger Tires: Passenger OE tire shipments are anticipated to increase by approximately 11 million units, or nearly 44 percent, in 2010 as domestic vehicle production resumes and consumers take advantage of incentive programs and low interest rates. New vehicles sold in the U.S. are projected to increase by 6 percent in 2011 due to continued improvement in economic conditions.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: This category will experience an approximate 31 percent increase, or 900,000 units, in 2010 to nearly 3.7 million units due to improved economic conditions respective to the commercial sectors which utilize light truck vehicles. Little or no growth is anticipated for 2011 as no increase is anticipated in domestic vehicle production.
  • Original Equipment Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: A nearly 24 percent increase to approximately 3 million units is anticipated for 2010 – an increase of approximately 600,000 units – reflecting a significant increase in the Industrial Production Index for 2010 in combination with pent up demand for new vehicles. This sector is expected to continue to rebound in 2011 with OE tire shipments projected to gain an approximate 750,000 units.
  • Replacement Passenger Tire: Shipments for this category are projected to increase approximately 9 million units in 2010 to nearly 199 million units, representing a growth rate of approximately 5 percent. However, growth in 2011 will be tempered as continued economic uncertainties for the consumer will result in a less than a 2 percent increase, or nearly 3 million units. Respective to imports, the imposition of a three year Chinese import tariff in September 2009 decreased Chinese imports but effectively increased imports from other Pacific Rim countries such that non-RMA imports are forecast to increase nearly 6 percent in 2010. Additional increases in imports are anticipated for 2011 growing another approximate 5 percent.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: The onset of the economic recovery has also improved the outlook for LT tire shipments with shipments forecasted to increase by 300,000 units to approximately 28 million units total, a gain of nearly 1 percent. Little or no increase is anticipated in 2011 in keeping with commercial economic forecasts. This segment represents the small commercial vehicle market – mainly “class 3” trucks – as well as a core group of consumers.
  • Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck Tires: The market is anticipated to increase by approximately 2.6 million units in 2010 to nearly 15.5 million units. Given the uneven economic rebound forecast for 2011, this market is expected to increase by approximately 600,000 units to nearly 16 million units.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that make tires in the U.S.

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.

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.

Tire Shipments Forecasted to Decrease in 2006

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 4, 2006 - Tire shipments for 2006 are expected to decrease by 2.8 percent compared to 2005, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

The decrease in 2006 tire shipments reflects the overall slowdown in the U.S. economy. While GDP growth was a healthy 5.6 percent in the first quarter, second quarter growth slowed substantially to 2.5 percent. Slower growth and higher energy costs appear to be forcing consumers to prioritize spending including postponing tire replacement.

However, RMA projects growth to resume in 2007 with the total tire shipments expected to increase by nearly 7 million units to 319 million units, or approximately 2.3 percent. The committee believes that the number of vehicles and miles driven annually are expected to continue to increase once fuel prices stabilize as predicted.

Overall, the combined original equipment and replacement shipments for 2006 auto and truck categories are anticipated to decrease by 8.9 million units to nearly 312 million units compared to 320.8 million total shipments in 2005.

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

  • Original Equipment Passenger Tires: This market is projected to decrease by more than 2 percent to approximately 51 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 the 51 million unit level.
  • Original Equipment Light Truck Tires: Approximately 5.6 million units are projected to be shipped in 2006. However, a 5.6 percent, or 300,000 unit increase in 2007 is forecast as demand for small commercial trucks will remain strong. 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. As a result 6.6 million OE units are forecasted to be shipped in 2006, or an increase of 5.7 percent. A sharp decline of approximately 16 percent is anticipated in 2007 to 5.5 million units as 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 2.3 percent to nearly 198 million units for 2006 representing a decline of 4.6 million units over 2005’s shipments. Still, the P-metric (for SUV type vehicles) and Ultra High Performance tire markets are projected to increase more than 5 percent and 12 percent, respectively, compared to 2005. The market is forecast to rebound in 2007 by approximately 7 million units to nearly 205 million units as consumers will need to eventually replace tires. Overall, growth in the replacement market is primarily a result of the number of vehicles on the road and vehicle miles traveled.
  • Replacement Light Truck Tire: This market segment is projected to decrease by approximately 7.6 percent to 33.3 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 to 17.2 million units in 2006. However an increase of approximately 400,000 units is forecasted in 2007 to 17.6 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.