Shipments of passenger tires to the U.S. replacement market were basically flat in 2002 from the year before, while those of light truck and medium and wide base truck tires improved, according to year-end Rubber Manufacturers Association statistics.
Shipments of heavy truck tires also fell during the year, finishing 2.8 percent lower than the year before.
For 2002, replacement shipments of passenger tires slipped 0.1 percent to 190.5 million units.
In contrast, shipments of medium and wide base truck tires grew 8.5 percent to 14.7 million units while those of LT tires rose 6.8 percent to 33.6 million units.
Replacement shipments in Canada grew in all categories with passenger tires up 1.1 percent, LT tires up 7.9 percent and medium/heavy truck tires up 8.6 percent.
Tires shipped to U.S. vehicle manufacturers grew in all but one category during the year, led by a 35-percent surge in LT tires. The exception was in heavy truck tires, where OE shipments declined 6.3 percent, the data showed.