BRUSSELS (April 20, 2015) — Imported tires, especially from China, are taking a larger share of a European truck tire market that itself continues to shrink, according to the latest European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA) data.
Imports of truck tires from outside the European Union grew 42 percent last year, the ETRMA said in its first quarter report, including a 50-percent increase from China. Tires from China represented 60 percent of imports.
Imports continued to rise in the first quarter, the ETRMA said, and now account for about a quarter of Europe's aftermarket truck tire shipments, which fell 2 percent overall to 2.16 million units. China alone represents about 15 percent of the aftermarket, the ERTMA data show.
Truck tire sales have been falling since mid-2014, according to the association.
Overall, the European tire industry experienced mixed fortunes in the first quarter.
Replacement sales figures from ETRMA members for the first three months of 2015 indicate that consumer segment grew by 2 percent over the same period last year.
“Whilst timid, [this performance] marks a turnaround compared to the last quarter of 2014,” the ETRMA said, noting that shipments fell 9 percent the final quarter last year.
Also gaining in the quarter were motorcycle tire shipments, up 7 percent, while the agricultural tire sector fell 13 percent.