Japanese Tyre Sales up 13.9 per cent
In December Japan sold 13.9 per cent more tyres (year-on-year) than it did in the same month in 2004. Recent JATMA figures show that 7.9 per cent of the improvement came from OE sales, with a further 17.5 per cent coming from the replacement market.
According to Deutsche Bank analysts, this was the first double-digit increase in 20 months, and it followed a rise in demand for replacement-use studless tyres, probably caused by heavy snowfall in Japan. Analysts expect these sales to have a “substantial” impact on tyre makers’ profits, which are already said to be benefiting from “an increase in manufacturers’ suggested retail prices, which has boosted margins; and smaller losses on inventory disposal.”