WASHINGTON—As they did in January, shipments of tires to the U.S. replacement and original equipment markets rose in February for all types of tires except heavy truck, when compared with the same month in 1998, Rubber Manufacturers Association data indicated. Truck tires—both light and medium/wide-based—continued their strong growth, climbing by double-digit percentages in the replacement and OE categories.
On a percentage basis, the month's largest increase came in OE shipments of light truck tires, which leapt 23.6 percent. The tires in this category are true LT tires; P-metric tires used on light trucks are not included. Replacement shipments jumped 13.8 percent.
For medium and wide-base truck tires, replacement and OE shipments rose 15.6 and 14.0 percent, respectively.
In the Canadian aftermarket, the Rubber Association of Canada reported that unit sales of passenger tires by its members slipped 3.2 percent, while sales of truck and bus tires grew 6.4 percent