The 1999 Global Tire Report could be subtitled, ``The incredible shrinking tire industry.'' A quick glance at the total sales figure shows 1998 global revenues from tires down by more than $1 billion from 1997. At the same time, the number of tires produced continues to creep up a few percentage points a year, and new capacities keep getting built with even more planned.
So what's up?
In a nutshell, currency fluctuations, enhanced by the negative effects of the Asian economic flu throughout 1997-98, chipped away at the value of sales reported by most non-U.S. firms, when those results are expressed in U.S. dollars.
Compounding the problem appears to be a net loss of sales through consolidation. In several recent acquisitions, 1+1 did not equal 2, i.e. the sales of the merged or consolidated company was less than the previous total of the two companies taken together.
These various factors left the overall global tire sales calculation for 1998 shy of the previous one.