Replacement tire shipments grew impressively in all categories during the first three months of 2004 compared with the year before, while those earmarked for original equipment use showed mixed results, the latest Rubber Manufacturers Association data showed.
Tire imports also rose in all categories with the exception of light truck tires, which were down slightly.
Heavy truck tires posted the greatest growth during the quarter, with aftermarket shipments up 30.4 percent, OE shipments up 19.4 percent and imports up 46.2 percent.
In passenger tires, replacement shipments and imports grew 5.4 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively, while OE shipments fell slightly.
Shipments of replacement LT tires, meanwhile, surged 23.2 percent, while OE shipments slipped 8.1 percent.
In medium and wide-base truck tires, replacement shipments rose 7.2 percent, OE shipments shot up 37.9 percent and imports grew 5.8 percent.