WASHINGTON-Shipments of replacement passenger, light truck and medium/wide-base truck tires in the U.S. are expected to grow at modest rates through 2001, said the Tire Market Analysis Committee of the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Original equipment tire shipments also are expected to grow over the five years, following a dip in 1996.
For 1996, the TMAC forecast aftermarket shipments of 169 million passenger tires and 26 million light truck tires, up 1.3 percent and 2 percent, respectively, from 1995.
Anticipated soft demand led the committee to predict declines across the board this year in shipments of all other replacement truck tire types.
OE shipments of passenger tires are expected to slip 1.6 percent this year to 56.1 million units, while those of light truck tires will drop 10 percent to 5.4 million units.
OE shipments of medium and wide-base truck tires should fall 12.5 percent from 5.43 million units in 1995, to 4.75 million, the TMAC said.
The TMAC said its report focused on the annualized average growth industry segments can expect.
Within the replacement market, average annual growth rate for the years 1996-2001 is predicted to be 1.3 percent for passenger tires, slightly outpacing the 0.8 percent expected for light truck tires, ``due to the continued application of P-metric tires on light truck vehicles,'' the TMAC said.
Aftermarket shipments of other types of truck tires should rebound from their 1996 decline but grow at an average annual rate of less than 1 percent, the TMAC said.
Annual growth rates for OE tire shipments over the five years are forecast to be 2.2 percent for passenger tires and just over 3 percent for medium and wide-base truck tires, the committee said. Light truck tire shipments are expected to remain flat.