By Oliver Hall
US tyres shipments are projected to fall by around 13 percent in 2009 largely due to the steep decline in demand for original equipment (OE) passenger and commercial truck tyres.
According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association total 2009 shipments are predicted to decline approximately 36 million units to 246 million units.
This decrease reflects the difficult economic environment for automotive manufacturers over the past year, continued low consumer confidence and high unemployment.
However, the RMA has also reported signs for optimism in the future.
It states that the vehicle miles travelled is on par with 2008 levels as the domestic economic conditions for both the consumer and commercial sectors appears to have stabilised and are poised for a rebound in 2010.
As a result, the US tyre industry is expected to realise a nearly 6 percent growth in 2010 reaching the 260 million unit level – still a far cry from 2000 when tyre shipments peaked at 321 million.
RMA’s Tyre Market Analysis Committee is comprised of tyre market professionals representing the major US tyre manufacturers, which account for more than 90 percent of all US tyre shipments.