WASHINGTON-In May, for the first time in three months, U.S. tire makers shipped more replacement passenger tires than they did in the same period a year ago.
However, the same could not be said about any other tire category, according to the latest Rubber Manufacturers Association data.
During the month, aftermarket shipments of passenger tires grew 3.8 percent, although they still trail last year's year-to-date totals by 4.9 percent.
In contrast, replacement shipments of light truck tires, medium truck tires and heavy truck tires all fell in May, declining 4 percent, 13.2 percent and 12.5 percent respectively. Through the first five months of 2001, the categories showed the same trend, with shipments of light truck tires off 8.5 percent, medium and wide base tires down 18.6 percent and heavy truck tires off 6.4 percent.
Original equipment shipments of medium and wide base tires fared the worst of any tire type in May, falling 44 percent in the month from a year ago and declining 43.9 percent year to date.