WASHINGTON (March 26)—The continuing fallout of the Firestone Wilderness recalls of the past two years will skew replacement market demand in the coming years, according to the latest Rubber Manufacturers Association shipment data and forecast. Owners of light trucks and sport utility vehicles, conscious of the tread separation hysteria of 2000-2001, are expected to opt for more rugged LT-designated light truck tires to replace their original equipment P-metric light truck tires, the RMA said. This demand shift will push LT replacement shipments up this year by 4.8 percent and contribute to a 16-percent drop in demand for P-metric light truck tires. In addition, the RMA's Tire Market Analysis Committee (TMAC) sees growth in two other replacement market segments—medium and wide-base truck tires, where shipments should grow 1 percent this year and 6 percent in 2003, and in H/V/Z speed rated passenger tires, where shipments will be up 11 percent this year and next. Replacement passenger tire sales this year are expected to be essentially unchanged from 2001, at 190.8 million units, after falling 4.1 percent last year.
Replacement LT tire shipments to grow 4.8% in 2002
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