By Katherine Clarkson
Global demand for tyres fell dramatically by 35 per cent last year, according to a leading manufacturer.
French tyres company Michelin reported that the huge fall was prompted by a 50 per cent drop in original fitment (O/E) demand, but also suffered a 20 per cent dip in replacement tyres.
However, etyres, the UK’s leading online tyres retailer, is bucking this trend and experiencing soaring sales due to its low price – up to 40 per cheaper than the traditional high street tyre depots – and mobile fitting service.
The gloomy global picture figures were supplied to Deutsche Bank where analysts concluded that they are the worst for 30 years, compared to a 3.5 per cent fall in 1991 and a 16 per cent drop in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The figures, supplied to Deutsche Bank by Michelin, show the huge fall was prompted by a 50% drop in OE demand, but could also be seen in a 20% drop in replacement sales.
The analysts put the falls down to people driving roughly 5% less and postponing their tyre purchases, while dealers have been reducing their inventories.
Michelin sales volumes are expected to be approximately 15% lower than 2008 in the first quarter of 2009, according to Deutsche Bank.
The marked collapse in demand is said to be reflected across both the truck tyre and passenger car tyre segments and in both Europe and North America. Only China attained single digit growth, according to Tyres and Accessories magazine.