domestic tire shipments post nine percent increase
Growth in 2011 expected to be moderate
Tire shipments are projected to increase by
more than 9 percent in 2010 due to sharp increases in original
equipment manufacturer (OEM) passenger and commercial truck tires
as well as increases in passenger and commercial truck replacement
shipments, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Total 2010 tire shipments are projected to increase by approximately
24 million units to 284 million units – a 9 percent increase
compared to 2009. Nearly half of this increase is attributed
to the large increases in OE tire shipments, owing to the resumption
of domestic vehicle manufacturing as well as an increase in light
vehicle sales driven by manufacturer’s incentive programs and
low auto loan interest rates during the 2010 calendar year.
Replacement shipments will also experience significant growth
in 2010 as a result of increases in vehicle miles travelled,
stable energy prices, longer vehicle life and overall positive
domestic economic conditions for both the consumer and commercial
An additional 2 percent growth in tire shipments is forecast
for 2011, reaching nearly 290 million units as economic uncertainty
will restrain growth for overall tire shipments.
RMA’s Tire Market Analysis Committee forecast for key categories
and their respective segments for 2010 and 2011 include:
•Original Equipment (OE) Passenger Tires: Passenger OE tire shipments
are anticipated to increase by approximately 11 million units,
or nearly 44 percent, in 2010 as domestic vehicle production
resumes and consumers take advantage of incentive programs and
low interest rates. New vehicles sold in the United States are
projected to increase by six percent in 2011 due to continued
improvement in economic conditions.
•Original Equipment Light Truck (LT) Tires: This category will
experience an approximate 31 percent increase, or 900,000 units,
in 2010 to nearly 3.7 million units due to improved economic
conditions respective to the commercial sectors which utilize
light truck vehicles. Little or no growth is anticipated for
2011 as no increase is anticipated in domestic vehicle production.
•Original Equipment Medium/ Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial
Truck Tires: A nearly 24 percent increase to approximately 3
million units is anticipated for 2010 – an increase of approximately
600,000 units – reflecting a significant increase in the Industrial
Production Index for 2010 in combination with pent up demand
for new vehicles. This sector is expected to continue to rebound
in 2011 with OE tire shipments projected to gain an approximate
•Replacement Passenger Tire: Shipments for this category are
projected to increase approximately 9 million units in 2010 to
nearly 199 million units, representing a growth rate of approximately
5 percent. However, growth in 2011 will be tempered as continued
economic uncertainties for the consumer will result in a less
than a 2 percent increase, or nearly 3 million units. Respective
to imports, the imposition of a three year Chinese import tariff
in September 2009 decreased Chinese imports but effectively increased
imports from other Pacific Rim countries such that non-RMA imports
are forecast to increase nearly six percent in 2010. Additional
increases in imports are anticipated for 2011 growing another
approximate 5 percent.
•Replacement Light Truck Tire: The onset of the economic recovery
has also improved the outlook for LT tire shipments with shipments
forecasted to increase by 300,000 units to approximately 28 million
units total, a gain of nearly 1 percent. Little or no increase
is anticipated in 2011 in keeping with commercial economic forecasts.
This segment represents the small commercial vehicle market –
mainly “class 3” trucks – as well as a core group of consumers.
•Replacement Medium/Wide-Base/Heavy On-Highway Commercial Truck
Tires: The market is anticipated to increase by approximately
2.6 million units in 2010 to nearly 15.5 million units. Given
the uneven economic rebound forecast for 2011, this market is
expected to increase by approximately 600,000 units to nearly
16 million units.