By Denna Bowman
Consumer demand for car tyres has remained stable in the UK for 2009, according to a report by Continental.
However, the tyre manufacturers also revealed that sales of tyres for commercial vehicles had slumped during the same period.
Continental reported that cost-conscious buyers turned to cheaper passenger tyres at the expense of premium tyres during the recessionary months.
It also noted that fleet managers had generally extended the life of vehicles in their fleets, while others had trended to buy less-expensive tyres in reaction to the severe market downturn in 2009.
The UK government-funded scrappage program triggered a disproportionate increase in the sale of small, lightweight cars, according to Continental, resulting in declines of larger, heavier vehicles.
Continental also concluded that the move toward eco-branded vehicles in the future will result in greater demand for smaller, lower-speed-rated tyres in coming years.
Looking to the future, the company expects to see signs of recovery in sales of commercial tyres for 2010.