WASHINGTON—U.S. tire shipments are expected to stay relatively flat in 2016, despite a strong increase in shipments of original equipment and replacement light truck tires, according to new analysis released by the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Overall, the tire manufacturers trade association expects 314.4 million tire units will be shipped in 2016, compared to 313.5 million in 2015.
RMA forecasts light truck tire replacement shipments will increase by 7.9 percent to 31.5 million units by year end, while OE shipments of LT tires are expected to rise by 9.5 percent.
In contrast, shipments of passenger tires are expected to decline slightly for the year. RMA predicts replacement passenger tire shipments will fall by slightly less than 1 percent to 205.2 million units, while OE shipments will fall by a similar margin.
Meanwhile, truck tire shipments look to be a mixed bag. Replacement truck tire shipments are expected to climb by 2.5 percent to 18.4 million units, while OE truck tire shipments are expected to fall by 17.6 percent to 5.1 million units.