BRUSSELS (Jan. 15, 2013) — European replacement tire shipments suffered double-digit declines last year, falling to their lowest volume since 2005, according to figures from the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA).
Shipments for the various segments fell: Consumer tires, down 13 percent to 194.6 million units; commercial tires off 19.1 percent to 8.23 million units; agricultural tires down 11.5 percent to 1.65 million units; and motorcycle/scoooter tires off 11.2 percent to 7.61 million units.
The consumer tire decline included a 20-percent drop in sales of winter tires.
The declines came after two consecutive years of gain, the ETRMA said, although the share by the European domestic producers fell during that time.
ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp cited a number of factors for the drops, such as lower mileage driven per car and delayed purchases of new tires, including opting for used tires.
Growing demand for used tires could have severe consequences on the safety of the vehicles on European roads, as second-hand tires could become overused – and thus illegal — very quickly, Ms. Cinaralp said.
To avoid these safety concerns, checks on tire tread depth during periodic and roadside roadworthiness inspections are increasingly important, she added.