U.S. replacement tire shipments, after dropping 5 percent in total for all tire categories last year, rebounded in January 2002, growing a combined 8.6 percent for the month, according to the most recent Rubber Manufacturers Association data.
Shipments of medium and wide base truck tires led the surge, improving 24.5 percent from January 2001. Heavy truck tire shipments grew 17.4 percent during the month, while those for passenger tires were up 9.4 percent.
Light truck tires posted the only decline, as less than one percent fewer tires were shipped during the month than a year ago.
Tire shipments to original equipment manufacturers were mixed in January, the data showed. Shipments of OE passenger and light truck tires soared 16.7 percent and 37.2 percent, respectively. In contrast, shipments of medium and wide base truck tires to vehicle makers fell 23.8 percent in January, while those for heavy truck tires were down 20.6 percent.