RMA Anticipates 8% US Market Growth in 2010
According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, tyre shipments in the US this year are projected to increase by approximately eight per cent, a growth that will primarily take place due to a 38 per cent increase in original equipment passenger car tyre sales and a five per cent increase in replacement market passenger car tyre sales. The association estimates that a total of 282 million tyres will be shipped during the year, compared to 260 million last year. Thus the rebound in 2010 shipments will be roughly equal to 2008’s shipment level.
This year’s increase in tyre shipments reflects an economy re-emerging from the severe economic downturn plus the recent turnaround of the domestic automotive manufacturers and a return to established driving habits,” the RMA comments, noting however that high unemployment, low consumer confidence and continued depressed home values continue to weigh upon consumers.
“Large increases in domestic vehicle production as a result of the resumption of auto manufacturer production driven by OEM incentive and financing programmes will lead to a nearly 38 per cent increase in 2010 shipments to approximately 34 million units,” says the RMA regarding OE passenger car tyres. “With the economy predicted to stabilise and slowly emerge from the recession in 2010, a rebound in vehicle sales and subsequent vehicle production is anticipated. This will further increase OE tyre shipments in 2011 by nearly three million units to the 37 million unit level.”
A 13 per cent increase in light truck tyre shipments is anticipated this year, a total of almost 3.2 million units. The RMA expects this growth to occur due to stabilizing economic conditions and the subsequent impact on the commercial sectors which utilise light truck vehicles. “Despite a continual consumer demand preference for vehicle fitments with p-metric passenger tyres in place of LT tyres, a nearly 100,000 unit gain is anticipated in OE LT as the economy continues to recover in 2011,” comments the RMA. Shipments of some 2.8 million OE medium/wide-base/heavy truck tyres are forecast for 2010, an increase of nearly 16 per cent on last year. “The continued economic rebound and pent up demand for vehicles is projected to result in a net gain of approximately 800,000 units increase in shipments in 2011,” adds the RMA.
“Due to faster recovery in the auto sector from the protracted and deeper economic downturn in 2009, the market [for replacement passenger car tyres] will realise a better than expected five per cent increase in 2010, or approximately 10 million units, reaching a level of 199 million units,” says the RMA. The association also anticipates that growth will continue in 2011 with the replacement sector estimated to increase by a modest two million units.
Shipments of replacement light truck tyres are forecast to increase nearly three per cent in 2010, amounting to total shipments of 28 million units. No further changes to this level is anticipated in 2011, the RMA comments. Replacement market medium/wide-base/heavy truck tyre shipments are tipped to increase by some 15 per cent this year to some approximately 15 million units as a result of the better than expected recovery in the commercial sector. However, given the uneven economic rebound forecast going forward, the RMA expects this market to increase by approximately 600,000 units in 2011.