Nine tire makers and marketers announced price hikes recently for the U.S. replacement market ranging from 4.5 to 8 percent, all going into effect in early January 2010, and at least one expert said other manufacturers are likely to follow suit.
This round of price hikes is tied to rising raw materials costs and is in addition to the 10- to 20-percent increases on most China-sourced tires that were instituted in the wake of the 35-percent import duty imposed in September on Chinese passenger and light truck tires by the Obama administration.
The price increases are for the most part the first widespread changes since mid-2008.
The companies announced their price adjustments during December. The increases effective Jan. 1 are:
* Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations L.L.C.by up to 5 percent on certain Bridgestone-, Firestone- and associate-brand passenger and light truck tires for both the original equipment and replacement markets.
* Continental Tire North America Inc.up to 5 percent on all Continental-, General Tire- and proprietary-brand passenger and light truck tires in the U.S.
* Hankook Tire America Corp.by up to 5 percent on its entire line of passenger, light truck and medium truck tires.
* Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc.by up to 8 percent on its Kumho-brand passenger, light truck and commercial tires. Kumho previously announced price hikes Oct. 1 of up to 12 percent on all tires imported from China.
* Nexen Tire America Inc.8 percent on tires made in South Korea.
* Pirelli Tire L.L.C.up to 4.5 percent on all passenger and light truck tires except the P4 and P5 touring lines. The company raised prices 10 percent on the P4 and P5 tires 10 percent on Nov. 1, because of the new tariffs on Chinese-made tires.
* Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.by up to 6 percent on all consumer and commercial tires, with in-line adjustments.
* Yokohama Tire Corp.by up to 6 percent in the U.S. on its consumer tires.
Nokian Tyres Inc. is raising prices 3 to 6 percent Jan. 11 on consumer tires sold in North America. The Colchester, Vt.-based subsidiary of Finland's Nokian Tyres P.L.C. blamed market conditions and escalating raw material costs.
Goodyear raised prices 6 percent in North America Dec. 1 on all consumer tires. Michelin North America Inc. had announced no changes as of Tire Business' presstime.
Those who haven't announced a price increase yet are likely to follow suit, in my opinion, said Saul Ludwig, tire industry analyst for Cleveland-based KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. I expect a good amount of the increases to stick, as tire demand is improving and the higher costs need to be covered.
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