By Denna Bowman
US tyres shipments are projected to increase by approximately 7 million units in 2010 compared to 2009, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
The 3% increase is in contrast to the 8% drop from 2008 to 2009 and “reflects the onset of the economic rebound, an increase in vehicle miles traveled, and a slight uptick in auto sales”, the RMA concludes.
It adds: “As a result, this rebound is projected to extend into 2011, reaching approximately 275 million units, as the economic recovery gathers momentum.”
The RMA’s final shipment numbers for 2009 and forecasts for 2010, compiled by its Tyre Market Analysis Committee, include the following:
* Original equipment passenger tyres. “Passenger OE shipments declined by nearly 35% in 2009 to 24.6 million units – a low point for recent history – attributable to the economy, and large vehicle production cuts.
“For 2010, light vehicle production is forecast to rebound slightly, resulting in an approximate 21% increase in OE passenger tyre shipments to nearly 30 million units.”
* Replacement passenger tyres. “The sluggish economy, coupled with consumers looking to extract more miles out of their tyres, contributed to a decline of 4.3 million units in 2009, representing a 2.2% decrease for a total of 189.5 million units.”
“However, this sector is forecast to increase by nearly 1.7 million units in 2010 — or approximately 1% as the measured economic recovery gains hold and the number of vehicle miles traveled increases.”