US replacement market remains depressed, little growth in 2011
The US replacement consumer tyre market will remain depressed through 2011, according to an update by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, even as OE shipments to automakers are continuing to grow. The RMA now says that replacement P-metric tyre shipments will fall short of even posting 1 per cent growth for the year, “as continued high energy costs, decreases in non-essential driving, and continued economic uncertainties weigh on the consumer.”
Anticipated minor growth in the LT-metric replacement segment will be driven by the commercial Class 3 segment, RMA said, and not mainstream consumer pickups and larger SUVs. The replacement medium truck tyre market remains robust, and RMA predicts a full-year 11 per cent increase.
On the OE side, P-metric tyre shipments to automakers are expected to increase 8.5 per cent for the year, while OE LT-metric tire shipments are expected to grow 18 per cent. RMA said that OE P-metric shipment will actually be down against previous predictions due to the effect of the 11 March earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan.
The OE medium truck tyre market should see a 47 per cent leap, RMA said, thanks to “pent up demand for commercial trucks and trailers.” All told, RMA says that 2011 US tyre shipments will be up 4 per cent – 11 million tyres – to a total of 296 million tyres. (Tire Review)