WASHINGTON (Nov. 30) — Final numbers for U.S. tire shipments in 2006 will show a 4.5-percent decline from a year earlier because of the overall slowdown in the economy, and should rise 1.4 percent next year, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Total shipments of passenger and truck tires, for original equipment and replacement use, will slip by 14.4 million units this year compared to 2005 to to nearly 306 million units.
The RMA said the economic slowdown for the country was caused by the shrinking GDP during the calendar year, higher energy costs and a declining housing market.
In 2007, tire shipments should rise to 310 million units, according to the forecast from the RMA´s Tire Market Analysis Committee.
Among specific categories, the committee also predicted:
* OE passenger tire shipments will fall by 8 percent in 2006 and remain flat at 48 million units in 2007;
* OE light truck tire deliveries will rise by about 4 percent next year;
* Shipments of OE medium/wide-base/heavy on-highway commercial truck tires jumped 9 percent in 2006 but are expected to fall 20 percent next year;
* Aftermarket pssenger tire shipments will slip by about 3.2 percent in 2006 to nearly 196 million units, but show a 2-percent rise next year.
* Replacement light truck tires will show a 7.2-percent decrease in 2006 and aftermarket medium/wide-base/heavy On-Highway commercial truck tires a 2-percent decline.