WASHINGTON—1998 was another hot year for replacement tire shipments in the U.S., according to Rubber Manufacturers Association data. Aftermarket shipments of passenger, light truck and medium and wide-base truck tires all set records, besting previous highs set in 1997. Only those for heavy truck tires fared poorly—declining 6.1 percent from 1997 to 255,900 units.
Replacement shipments of passenger tires rose 3.4 percent over 1997's record total to 185.5 million units.
Those for light truck tires soared 8 percent to 31.3 million units. Medium and wide-base truck tires roared ahead 7.7 percent to 13.7 million units.
Shipments of light truck and medium and wide-base truck tires to the original equipment market also grew, climbing 15.2 percent and 19.7 percent, respectively, over the year before.
Those for passenger tires slipped 1.1 percent to 57.1 millon units.