WASHINGTON —Tire shipments will total 325.2 million units this year, up 2.7 percent over 2017, according to the latest projections from the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA).
The USTMA forecast also is 1.7-percent higher than the association's mid-year projection, issued in August. The USTMA offered no commentary as to what factors it took into account for this forecast.
The biggest gains will be in passenger tires, the USTMA said, in both the replacement and original equipment markets.
Replacement shipments will rise 2.5 percent, or 5.2 million units, to 214.9 million units, it said, while OE shipments will increase by 1 million units to 46.2 million units.
Light truck tire shipments, by contrast, will be nearly flat for 2018, according to the USTMA, with replacement shipments rising 0.2 percent to 31.4 million units and OE shipments falling 0.2 percent to 5.2 million units.
Medium truck tire shipments will enjoy robust gains in both the OE and replacement markets, the association said.
OE shipments will rise 15.8 percent, to 6.3 million units, while replacement shipments will increase 7.8 percent to 21.2 million units.
The USTMA represents a dozen tire companies, which collectively operate 57 tire-related plants in 17 states and generate more than $27 billion in annual sales, accounting for 82 percent of shipments referenced in the forecast.