U.S. shipments of tires rose 2.7 percent last year, but foreign-made tires grabbed a larger share of the business as imports grew 11.6 percent, while production by U.S. manufacturers fell 1.2 percent, according to the latest data from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
Shipments of original equipment medium and heavy truck tires advanced the most, up 38 percent and 17.1 percent, respectively, over 2003. OE light truck and car tire shipments, by contrast, fell 7.5 percent and 2.8 percent from 2003.
In the aftermarket, shipments grew in all categories. Imports and exports were up in all categories.