MILAN, Italy (May 4, 2012)—Tire sales around the world were weak in the first quarter, according to data from Pirelli.
The company has updated its website with new data, but reports only percentage changes, not absolute numbers.
Pirelli said European truck tire replacement sales fell by 30 percent in the first quarter, but the March figure was a decrease of 32 percent compared with a year ago. OE figures also reversed. The data shows a decrease of 6 percent in the first quarter but a decline of 8 percent in March.
OE truck tire sales in the NAFTA region slowed their recovery, increasing by 26 percent in the first quarter, but growth fell to just 11 percent in the most recent month. On the replacement side, however the slowdown in sales accelerated, with a decline of 14 percent in the first quarter but sales were down by 23 percent in the month of March.
Data for the Mercosur region showed OE sales down by 30 percent in the first quarter, with the March figures showing a reversal to 4 percent growth year-on-year. On the replacement side, sales fell. The decline was 13 percent in the first quarter, but sales in March showed a 3 percent decline.
Asian data is not yet in, except for Japanese replacement sales, where the last quarter showed a 9 percent decline, although March data was positive, with a 22 percent increase.
In China, OE truck tire sales fell by 24 percent decline in the first quarter, matched by a 23 percent decline in March.
In the car and light truck segment, European OE sales in the first quarter were down by 6 percent, impacted by a decline of 16 percent in March. Replacement sales were down by 12 percent in the first quarter and down by 14 percent in March.
North American sales of car and light truck tires were mixed. On the replacement side, sales in the first quarter were down by 8 percent on last year, and down by 7 percent in March. OE figures remained positive, with sales in the first quarter up by 16 percent and in March up by 9 percent.
In the Mercosur region, sales were less healthy. Replacement sales strengthened slightly, with the first quarter up by 4 percent over 2011, and up by 10 percent in the month of March. In OE, the first quarter figure was down by 7 percent, but the most recent month showed an increase of 3 percent.
Again, Asian data was limited. Japanese replacement sales, were down by 3 percent in the first quarter and down by 1 percent in March.
In China, first quarter sales were up by 1 percent and March sales were up by 6 percent.