RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.—Light truck tire sales were rebounding in the U.S. in July after suffering a slump earlier in the year.
For the first half of July, U.S. light truck tire volume (LT metric and flotation) increased 14 percent, compared with the year-ago period, after suffering a 45 percent plummet in April, according to Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc.
Passenger and commercial truck tire shipments also were recovering after being hit by the economic effects of the pandemic in April and May.
In the first half of July, passenger tires were down 5 percent, after plummeting 56 percent in April; medium truck tires edged up 3 percent compared with the year-ago period, according to SRNA executives, quoting U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association data.
SRNA executives were optimistic about the tire market going forward during their fifth SRNA COVID-19 Dealer Resource Forum, held online July 23.
In June, U.S. passenger tire volume was down 7 percent; light truck tire sales were flat; and medium truck tires were down 6 percent, according to USTMA data.
So while tire shipments began recovering from the pandemic slump in June, there was a big rebound in the first half of July, especially for light truck tires, according to Rick Brennan, SRNA's vice president of strategic planning.
The Canadian tire market, which experienced a harder hit than the U.S. during the pandemic, is on a slow recovery. Consumer products are surging again while commercial tires are still lagging behind, Brennan said.
For the first half of July, passenger tire volume was down 3.9percent, light truck tires edged up 2 percent, but medium truck tire sales were down 21.9 percent.
SRNA is enjoying a rebound in sales as well, according to Matt Leeper, SRNA director of sales for consumer tires.
SRNA is "seeing strength across every channel we deal with," he said.