AKRON (June 18, 2008) — Replacement tire shipments fell in March in the U.S. and Canada, pulling down overall first quarter shipments with them in nearly all categories.
Light truck tire shipments declined the most, falling 17.1 percent in the U.S. to 2.34 million units and 22.3 percent in Canada to 195,400 during the month, according to the latest Rubber Manufacturers Association and Rubber Association of Canada data.
The declines left year-to-date shipments down 6.1 and 3.9 percent, respectively, to 7.41 million and 575,700 units in the two countries.
However, production of light truck tires in the U.S. rose in the month and quarter, 4.1 and 9.7 percent, respectively, to 2.41 million and 7.18 million units. Imports were off for both periods.
U.S. replacement passenger tire shipments fell 2.7 percent in March to 16.6 million units, leaving year-to-date shipments of 47.1 million units 0.4 percent behind the 2007 pace. In Canada, March shipments fell 0.5 percent to 1.29 million units, but shipments through March hit 3.58 million units, 17.5 percent ahead of the 2007 pace.
U.S. production declined 6.3 percent for the month to 13.2 million units but increased 1.1 percent for the quarter to 38.8 million units. Imports rose for the month (8.3 percent) and quarter (4.7 percent).