BRUSSELS—Last year was a positive year for tire shipments in Europe, despite a downturn late in the year, according to the latest figures from the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers' Association.
“The last quarter of 2014 further confirmed the downturn in sales registered in the third quarter of the year, with the exception of motorcycle tires, which remained positive all the way through 2014,” ETRTO said Jan. 14.
“Nevertheless, the year-end results remain positive, due to the extremely good sales of the first half of 2014,” it said.
European passenger tire shipments were down 9 percent for the fourth quarter, to 40 million from 43.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the association. It blamed the downturn on lower winter tire sales in Europe caused by recent mild winters.
For the year, however, passenger shipments increased 2 percent in 2014 over 2013, to 197 million from 192.8 million.
Truck and bus tire shipments slipped 2 percent in the fourth quarter, to 2.31 million from 2.37 million, according to the ETRTO. But they increased 4 percent for the year, to 9.2 million from 8.85 million.
Farm tires were down for both the quarter and the year. Fourth-quarter shipments fell 11 percent, to 290,000 from 326,000, and full-year shipments inched down 2 percent to 1.64 million from 1.68 million.
Motorcycle tire shipments rose 2 percent for the fourth quarter, to 1,004,000 from 998,000, the ETRTO said. For the full year, 2014 motorcycle tire shipments stood at 8.4 million, up 6 percent from 2013's 7.9 million.