WASHINGTON (March 13) — Tire shipments in the U.S. should rise this year by just more than 1 percent over 2005, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association´s latest forecast.
Increases in the replacement tire market are expected to offset decreases in the original equipment markets. The rising number of tire shipments for 2006 continues to reflect steady economic growth in the consumer and commercial sectors, the RMA said. The group projects continued annualized growth of approximately 1.7 percent for total tire shipments through 2011 reflecting increases in the nation´s Gross Domestic Product and Industrial Production Index.
Overall, the combined OE and replacement shipments for 2006 auto and truck categories are anticipated to rise by 3.8 million units to nearly 325 million units compared with 320.8 million total shipments in 2005. By 2011, the RMA projects this figure to jump to about 352 million units.