PARIS (Oct. 29, 2002) – Consumer demand in North America for flag brand passenger and light truck tires in the aftermarket peaked last year — at about a 60-percent market share — and has now waned somewhat, according to research from Group Michelin.
Demand for flag brand tires, fueled by increased public awareness in tires caused by the Firestone Wilderness/ATX recalls of 2000, pushed the flag brand share of the aftermarket to 58.1 percent at year-end 2001 from 56.6 percent a year earlier and 54 percent at year-end 1999, Michelin said.
However, the rapid growth and subsequent consolidation is attributed largely to the sport utility vehicle segment, where the flag brand share jumped to 67.7 percent at year-end 2001 but fell back to 64.4 percent by August, Michelin said. Overall, the flag brand share for consumer tires was back to 57 percent in August.
“In order to absorb the effects of the recalls,” Michelin said in its third quarter results statement, “the market must go through a consolidation phase before it can catch up with a growth rate more in line with the period from 1991 to 1999.”