WASHINGTON (Dec. 1, 2010)—U.S. replacement tire shipments should achieve 9-percent increase for all of 2010 compared to last year, but economic uncertainties will keep growth at about 2 percent in 2011, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association's latest industry forecast.
Shipments of all tires are projected to rise about 24 million units for 2010 to 284 million tires, the tire manufacturers' trade association said. Next year deliveries should increase to 290 million tires.
The RMA's Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast aftermarket passenger tire shipment growth this year will be roughly 4.8 percent, or 9 million units, ahead of 2009 at 199 million units. For 2011, replacement auto tires will rise by nearly 3 million units.
Imports should claim an even larger share of the aftermarket passenger business both this year and next, the RMA said, as imports from non-RMA member companies are on target for a 6-percent increase this year and likely could grow 5 percent in 2011.
Replacement demand for medium and heavy truck tires surged this year, jumping 2.6 million units—or 20 percent—over 2009, to 15.5 million units. Demand next year, though, should produce growth of only about 600,000 units, or 3.8 percent, the RMA said.
Replacement light truck tire shipments this year should be up about 1 percent, or 300,000 units, over 2009 to about 28 million units, but the RMA sees little or no gain in this sector in 2011.
Shipments of original equipment passenger and light truck tires jumped roughly a third over 2009 to 44 million and 3.7 million units, respectively, on the strength of the revived domestic car industry and improved economic conditions in sectors that use light trucks, the RMA said.
New car sales are expected to grow 6 percent in 2011 on the continued improvement in this sector, but demand for light trucks is expected to flatten out next year, the RMA said.
In the medium/heavy truck category, OE tire shipments jumped nearly 24 percent, or 600,000 units, to 3 million units, reflecting higher industrial output and pent-up demand for new vehicles. The RMA expects the surge to continue next year, generating demand for an additional 750,000 tires.
Overall, shipments are projected to increase by approximately 24 million units to 284 million units, a 9-percent increase over 2009, with growth in 2011 pegged at 2 percent to 290 million units.
The forecast is based on RMA tire industry and economic data, government trade figures, and vehicle sales and production data, the association said.