TOKYO (Dec. 17, 2008)—The Japan Automobile Tire Manufacturers Association expects tire sales in Japan to fall about 9 percent next year after demand was flat for 2008.
Domestic shipments of tires for four-wheeled vehicles should slide to about 50.5 million units next year from 55.5 million this year, JATMA said.
By category, JATMA expects truck and bus tire demand to fall the most, 13.2 percent to 1.1 million units. Passenger tire demand is expected to slip 8.7 percent to 43.8 million units, and light truck tire shipments are likely to fall 10 percent to 5.7 million units.
The report also shows Japan's tire makers expect to export about 8 percent fewer tires next year, with shipments to North America falling more than 16 percent to 17 million units. Overall exports this year were up slightly over 2007, with exports to North America down slightly to 20.3 million units.