BRUSSELS—Aftermarket tire sales in the European Union fell 11 to 19 percent in 2012, depending on category, according to the latest figures from the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association.
The decrease came after two years of expanding markets, despite a drop in the market share of European tire manufacturers, ETRMA said. The figures confirm that the European economic crisis is far from over, the organization said.
The 2012 figures represent the lowest replacement market volume for EU tire makers in seven years, according to ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp. Possible reasons for the decrease, Cinaralp said, include lower mileage per vehicle, consumers postponing the purchase of new tires, and consumers choosing used tires instead of new ones.
An increase in used tires on European roads has the potential to create severe safety problems, and makes frequent tread depth checks all the more important, Cinaralp said.
Replacement truck tire sales fell 19 percent in 2012 to 8.2 million, and consumer tire sales 13 percent to 194.6 million, the report said.
Motorcycle and scooter tire sales dipped 11 percent to 7.61 million, and agricultural tire sales also declined 11 percent, to 1.65 million units.