At that time, the USTMA cited a number of contributing factors, including inflation, higher interest rates, risk of recession, higher dealer inventories, lower vehicle sales and a reduction in vehicle miles traveled due to continued work-from-home status and high gas prices.
This combination of factors resulted in an anomaly the trade group said it's experienced only one other time in the past 30-plus years — replacement passenger and light truck tire shipments were higher in the first half of the year than in the latter half.
Similarly, the aftermarket slowed considerably in Canada, where replacement shipments slipped below those in 2021: passenger tires down 0.9%, light truck tires down 2.8%, and medium truck/bus tires off 0.2%.
After a couple of off years, original equipment tire shipments improved by double-digits across the board, reflecting the vehicle industry's ability to resolve most supply-chain-related issues that had impacted production the past two years:
- passenger, up 11.1% to 41.6 million units;
- light truck, up 11.4% to 6.3 million units; and
- medium truck/bus tires, up 10% to 6.5 million units.
As for OE market shares, there was little perceptible shift in shares. Goodyear (including Dunlop), Michelin (including BFGoodrich), Bridgestone (including Firestone) and Continental (including General) control more than three-fourths of OE passenger and light truck tire fitments with North American vehicle makers, although smaller brands such as Falken, Hankook, Kumho, Nexen, Pirelli and Toyo continue to make inroads.
One additional item to consider. The USTMA data don't take into account OE tires shipped into the U.S. mounted on imported vehicles. In 2022 vehicle makers imported 3.21 million cars, light trucks, van, SUV/CUVs, etc., which represent roughly 14.5 million tires, depending on how many were equipped with temporary spares or no spares at all.
Of the 3.21 million vehicles imported, 1.26 million came from Japan, 875,626 from South Korea and 964,139 from various European countries, according to data gleaned from Automotive News, a Tire Business sister publications.