WASHINGTON (May 9, 2000)—Independent tire dealers represent nearly two-thirds of wholesale shipments of replacement passenger tires and more than three-fourths of light truck tires in the U.S., according to recently released data from the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Local dealers—defined by the RMA as independents with no more than 10 outlets in a single regional distribution area—are the largest single category of tire distributor, accounting for 43.5 percent of 1999 RMA member shipments of passenger tires and 48.3 percent of light truck tire shipments to replacement accounts.
National dealers—defined as independents with more than 40 outlets in three or more regions—accounted for 18 percent of passenger tire and 22.2 percent of light truck tire replacement shipments, the RMA´s Tire Industry Facts 2000 report shows.
Regional dealers—those with more than 10 outlets in at least two regions—accounted for 3.8 percent of passenger tire and 7 percent of light truck tire replacement shipments last year, according to the RMA.
General merchandise distributors—mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, etc.—represented 20.3 percent of passenger tire shipments, but only 12.4 percent of light truck tire shipments. Tire company-owned outlets received 8.9 percent of passenger tires and 6.7 percent of light truck tires shipped by RMA members last year.
Other distribution channels, including service stations, garages and car dealerships, accounted for 5.5 percent of passenger tire and 3.4 percent of light truck tire aftermarket shipments.
This was the first time the RMA has published distribution channel data. The organization did not provide previous year data for comparison.
In compiling the distribution data, the RMA divided the U.S. into nine regions—New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, East-North Central, East-South Central, West-North Central, West-South Central, Mountain and Pacific.
Of these regions, the South Atlantic—consisting of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington D.C., and West Virginia—was the largest replacement passenger tire zone, accounting for 20.3 percent of the 191.9 million tires shipped last year.
The Pacific—Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington—was the largest in terms of light truck tire shipments, taking 17.1 percent of the 33.8 million units shipped last year.
RMA tire producer members are: Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.; Continental-General Tire Co.; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Denman Tire Corp.; Goodyear; Hankook Tire America Corp.; Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc.; Michelin North America Inc.; Pirelli Tire North America; Toyo Tire (USA) Corp.; and Yokohama Tire Corp.
The RMA´s Tire Industry Facts 2000, which also includes information on U.S. tire production, shipments, imports, exports, product breakdowns, size popularity, etc., is available from the RMA for $75. To order a copy, contact the RMA at (202) 682-4870, or download an order form from www.rma.org.