WASHINGTON (Mar. 14, 2000) — U.S. growth in demand for tires in 2000 will be less than half that of 1999, according to the latest Rubber Manufacturers Association forecast.
Total tire shipments this year are forecast to grow 2.2 percent over 1999 to 325 million units, after shipments last year exceeded 1998 by 5.3 percent. The slowing in shipments can be attributed entirely to original equipment demand; shipments of passenger and light truck tires to the car makers are expected to be on par with 1999, while OE demand for medium truck tires should slide about 7 percent.
Replacement market demand, on the other hand, should continue to grow in all categories, albeit at a slightly slower pace, according to the RMA´s Tire Market Analysis Committee.
Annual demand growth through 2005 also should be in the 2.2 percent range, the TMAC predicted. Markets with above-average growth will be the light truck LT and P-metric, and performance- and speed-rated replacement tires, the TMAC said.
Demand for P-metric light truck tires, for example, will grow 18.7 percent this year, with shipments of traditional LT light truck tires up 5.8 percent over 1999. Through 2005, these categories are expected to grow 12.8 and 5.1 percent annually, the TMAC said.