WASHINGTON-Shipments of light truck tires to the U.S. replacement market leapt 16.7 percent in June, compared with the year-earlier month, while shipments of other truck tires slipped, according to recently released data from the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Aftermarket shipments of passenger and industrial/utility tires for the month also grew.
At the original equipment level, light truck tire shipments surged, jumping 15.7 percent in June from a year ago. According to Automotive News, six of the 10 top-selling vehicles in June were light trucks, including the two top sellers: the No. 1 Ford F-Series pickup and No. 2 Chevy C/K pickup.
The market for light trucks shows few signs of slowing anytime soon. At a recent press briefing, Chrysler Corp. officials predicted that light trucks will account for at least half of U.S. light-vehicle sales by 2010-up from 40.4 percent in 1994.
June shipments of replacement medium and wide-base truck tires slipped 1.4 percent, while those of heavy and large off-the-road tires fell 6.2 percent.
Replacement passenger tire shipments rose 3.3 percent for the month but remained 2.2 percent behind 1994 levels for the first half of the year.