WASHINGTON — The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) is projecting a rebound in U.S. tire shipments this year over 2020, although shipments will still fall 5% shy of the industry's 2019 performance.
The USTMA is forecasting a jump of 4.1% in overall shipments this year over 2020 to 315.7 million units, based largely on resurgent demand for passenger tires in both in the replacement and original equipment markets, which should grow 3.5% and 10.7%, respectively.
Shipment growth in these two categories represent nearly 90% of the overall growth projected by the USTMA, which represents 13 companies with tire manufacturing capacity in the U.S.
By percentage growth, the largest category is OE truck/bus shipments, which should increase by 20% over 2020.
By category, the forecast breaks down as:
- Passenger — Shipments up 3.5% (7 million units) to 210.9 million units;
- Light truck — Shipments down 0.4% to 32.8 million units.
- Truck/bus — Shipments up 2.9% to 19.7 million units.
Original Equipment Market:
- Passenger — Shipments up 10.7% (4 million units) to 41.2 million units;
- Light truck — Shipments up 3.6% to 5.6 million units.
- Truck/bus — Shipments up 20% to 5.7 million units.
The USTMA did not comment on the factors affecting its forecast nor provide any insight as to domestic manufacturing versus imports. In 2020, manufacturing fell to its lowest levels in decades while imports were off only marginally.