WASHINGTON-The weak U.S. economy slowed tire shipments and production in the year's first two months, the latest Rubber Manufacturers Association data shows.
Shipments of passenger, light, medium and heavy truck tires to the original equipment and replacement markets all fell dramatically through February from year-earlier numbers, according to the RMA statistics.
Shipments of OE and replacement medium and wide base truck tires posted the most severe declines, with replacement shipments off 25.9 percent and OE down 42.4 percent. In passenger tires, aftermarket shipments slid 7 percent and OE shipments fell 18.1 percent for the two-month period.
Shipments of light truck tires fell as well, with those earmarked for replacement sales off 6.8 percent and those sent to vehicle makers down 32.7 percent.
Production of medium and wide base truck tires was down 16.1 percent year-to-date, passenger tires off 8.1 percent and light truck tires slipping 12.2 percent.