WASHINGTON (March 27)—The tire industry suffered a 6.6-percent decrease in original equipment and replacement shipments in 2001 because of the economic recession and consumer uncertainty after the events of Sept. 11. More than 21 million fewer passenger and commercial tire units were shipped in 2001 as compared to 2000's record setting 321 million units, according to data gathered by the Rubber Manufacturers Association. That level of shipments will not be reached again until 2003, according to the group's Tire Market Analysis Committee. Little to no growth is expected in 2002 as the economy begins a slow turnaround but a 4.7-percent rebound is forecast for 2003, as the total number shipped will be about 316 million, just short of 2000 figures, the TMAC said.
Tire shipments fall in 2001, may rebound in '03
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