Michelin: European tyre demand improving, emerging markets face headwinds

Michelin’s February tyre demand data shows a sequential improvement in replacement demand in most markets. With China and Brazil being the only real exceptions, basically every other showed month-on-month increases – the first positive uptick months.

The situation in China however, is somewhat bleaker. According to the Michelin tyre demand data, Chinese passenger car tyre replacement demand dropped -13 per cent from growth of +18 per cent in January. “This is a worrying indicator for broader China consumer demand”, Morgan Stanley market analysts wrote in an investor’s note data 13 March 2015.

In the European heavy truck tyre Original Equipment sector, sales were reportedly up 2 per cent year-on-year in February. At the same time replacement tyres sales were down 7 per cent year-on-year, something that was reportedly a reflection of difficulties in Eastern Europe.

However, the biggest his came in Brazil where heavy truck tyre Original Equipment sales were said to have fallen 49 per cent year-on-year in February. Replacement truck tyre sales were also down, but not buy as much, with growth reversing 9 per cent year-on-year apparently due to a weaker economic environment in Brazil.

February 2015 passenger car and light truck tyre demand

Europe North America Brazil China
OE tyres +0% -1% -17% +6%
Replacement tyres -1% -2% +2% -13
Europe North America Brazil China
OE tyres +1% +1% -16% +11%
Replacement tyres -3% -4% +1% +2%

Source: Michelin

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