AKRON (July 27, 2000) — The commercial side of the business came on strong in the second quarter, according to respondents in Tire Business´ Rapid Response Fax/E-Poll.
Of the respondents who are involved in commercial tire sales, nearly 90 percent said their sales were up, compared with the second quarter of 1999. The average increase was 10.6 percent, and most (75 percent) indicated they expect the upturn to continue through the current quarter.
While fewer respondents (only about 40 percent of the total) are involved in commercial vehicle service, 80 percent of them reported that business increased by an average of 8 percent. All reported that they expect this increase to continue in the current quarter.
With regard to the retail business, just over half the respondents said their retail tire sales rose, by 13 percent on average. More (60 percent) said their service sales grew, though by a smaller average amount: 7.7 percent.
As generally has been the case in these surveys, costs rose faster and more consistently than increases in selling prices.
More than 80 percent of the respondents said their costs increased, by an average of 3 percent.
But only half the respondents said they had been able to raise their prices in the second quarter, though by an average of 4.2 percent. The other half said they´d left prices unchanged. No one had lowered prices.
Dealers´ expectations for the third quarter largely mirrored their second-quarter experiences, and the majority expected sales of both tires and vehicle service to continue to increase.
That´s good, because while most (70 percent) also expect costs to continue to increase, only slightly more than a third believe they´ll be raising their prices.