BRUSSELS — Strong fourth quarter demand for replacement tires throughout Europe helped boost overall 2018 car and truck tire shipments over the corresponding shipment levels of 2017, according to the latest European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA) figures.
Shipments of OE consumer tires and replacement agricultural and two-wheeler tires, on the other hand, fell short of the 2017 shipment levels, the ETRMA data show.
Fourth quarter shipments of replacement consumer tires rose 2.8 percent to 48.5 million units, boosting annual shipments of car and van tires 1.2 percent to 207.5 million units. Winter tire shipments outperformed their summer counterparts, growing 1.4 percent while summer tire shipments slipped 0.3 percent.
Fourth quarter replacement truck/bus tires demand jumped 16 percent to 2.78 million units, helping push annual shipments up 8.8 percent to 10.6 million units.
Shipments of OE consumer tires fell 3.6 percent to 83.7 million units, while shipments of OE truck/bus tires rose 4.3 percent to 6.35 million units.
Shipments of replacement agricultural tires were of 3.5 percent for the year at 1.24 million units, despite a 10-percent shipment gain in the fourth quarter.
Shipments of replacement motorcycle/scooter tires fell 1.8 percent for the year to 8.97 million units, again despite a fourth gain of 8.4 percent.
"All in all, the 2018 figures confirm a stable market evolving according to expected trends, welcoming the continued increase in winter and all-season tires adding to the safety on our roads," ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp said.
"Further, our members' sales increase in the truck replacement market is a very positive evolution with spectacular jumps in notably Poland, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands."
The ETRMA's data cover 29 European countries, stretching from Ireland in the west to Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states in the east.