U.S. replacement tire shipments fell again in August, pushing the cumulative eight-month total down 4.5 percent from 2005, according to Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) data.
Original equipment (OE) shipments in August were off 12.3 percent from August 2005, leaving the eight-month total 7.6 percent behind the 2005 pace. Production, on the other hand, was up 8.5 percent during the month, pushing the year-to-date total up to nearly equal with last year's, the RMA data show.
Replacement passenger tire shipments took the biggest hit, falling 3.3 percent from a year ago to 17.8 million units. Shipments through August were off 5 percent from 2005 at 127.1 million units.
Shipments in the replacement light truck tire category were off just 0.6 percent in August at 3.3 million units but down 3.9 percent for the year through August at 22.5 million.
Replacement truck and bus tire shipments in August slid 1.8 percent from August 2005; shipments through August were off 1 percent to 11.7 million units, the RMA said.
In OE, passenger and light truck tire shipments were off 12.3 and 33.3 percent, respectively, while OE demand for truck/bus tires grew 13.6 percent in August.
The same trend held true for the year-to-date data: passenger and light truck tires were off 7.7 and 19.7 percent, respectively, and truck/bus tires were up 6.9 percent. Tire production was up across the board in August and up for the eight months for light truck and truck/bus tires; passenger tire output for the period was off 0.9 percent.
Passenger tire imports grew 16.4 percent during the month and 21.4 percent for the eight months; light truck tire imports were up 29 and 29.7 percent for the month and eight-month period; imports of truck/bus tires, on the other hand, fell 6.8 percent in the month and were down 8.6 percent for the year-to-date.