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Underlying consumer demand for tires remains healthy
March 27, 2014

Underlying consumer demand for tires remains healthy  

You can’t get too much of a good thing, or so the saying goes. However, it appears that is exactly what happened to many tire dealers in January as the harsh winter weather actually pressured tire sales in parts of the country.

Tags: Nick Mitchell, Your Marketplace

Wintry weather contributes to gains in tire, service sales across the industry
February 10, 2014

Wintry weather contributes to gains in tire, service sales across the industry  

In what has become a recurring theme in recent months, dealers noted that Mother Nature helped drive strong sales trends across much of the industry in December. In fact, after three straight months of dealers reporting strong volume gains there is no doubt that the increased amount of snowfall in many markets has played a big part in the recent surge in tire demand across the industry.

Dealers report strongest volume growth in more than a year
February 4, 2014

Dealers report strongest volume growth in more than a year  

While October was a big month for the tire industry, it appears that November was even better thanks in large part to Mother Nature.

Tags: Nick Mitchell, Northcoast Research Holdings, Your Marketplace

Consensus sentiment calls for a 1% to 3% volume increase at retail
January 3, 2014

Consensus sentiment calls for a 1% to 3% volume increase at retail  

According to our survey results, October was a big month for the tire industry as dealers reported the strongest volume growth that we have seen in more than a year. Additional commentary from dealers suggests that the cohort of consumers that had delayed big-ticket purchases during the run-up to the government shutdown at the end of September returned to the market late last month.

Dealers report two consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases
November 4, 2013

Dealers report two consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases  

While most of the tire industry is getting ready for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, our survey indicates that dealers haven’t taken their eye off of the prize as the respondents in our study noted that demand improved in September.

Tags: John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Your Marketplace

Although still less than robust,  tire sales show improvement
October 16, 2013

Although still less than robust, tire sales show improvement  

Dealers reported that new passenger tire sales in August improved modestly from July as sales of passenger units rose 0.1% year-over-year following a 0.3% decline.

Tags: John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Northcoast Research Holdings, Your Marketplace

John Healy and Nick Mitchell are research analysts for Northcoast Research Holdings.
September 16, 2013

Dealers are seeing early stages of release of pent-up tire demand  

Dealers reported that July sales trends were much improved relative to June. The respondents of our survey noted that unit volumes were essentially flat, which marks a significant improvement from June when dealers indicated that passenger replacement tire sales fell 1.1% year-over-year.

Tags: John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Your Marketplace

John Healy and Nick Mitchell
August 12, 2013

Tire pricing environment becomes more competitive at retail  

Dealers noted that unit volumes fell 1.1% compared to June of 2012, which marks a slowdown from May when dealers said that year-over-year tire sales were essentially flat.

Tags: Auto service, John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Retail sales, Retreading, Survey results, Wholesaling, Your Marketplace

Lower gas prices remain key to releasing pent-up demand
June 13, 2013

Lower gas prices remain key to releasing pent-up demand  

Tire dealers reported that lackluster sales continued during April as passenger tire unit volume at retail was essentially flat. While the 0.2% decline that dealers reported is certainly an improvement over the 1.1% decline that was reported in March, it’s important to remember that Easter was in March this year, compared to 2012, when the holiday occurred in April. This calendar shift effectively gave dealers an additional selling day this year, which obviously benefited the reported numbers.

Tags: Fuel prices, John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Northcoast Research, Your Marketplace

John Healy and Nick Mitchell
May 21, 2013

Service sales are seen as a bright spot in an otherwise soft market  

After reporting a modest sales lift in February, the dealers we surveyed indicated that soft sales trends reemerged during March. Indeed, we were disappointed with the responses from our survey as we thought that there was a good chance that momentum would build from February’s improvement — especially as the disbursement of tax refunds normalized and the price of gasoline fell throughout the month.

Tags: John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Service sales, Your Marketplace

Despite obstacles, dealers remain optimistic about near-term tire demand
April 23, 2013

Despite obstacles, dealers remain optimistic about near-term tire demand  

After suffering through a seesaw January, where dealers saw the benefits of winter weather to start the month offset by weak trends in the final weeks of the period, our survey respondents reported that business improved in February.

Dealers remain optimistic despite cash-strapped customers, high fuel costs
March 21, 2013

Dealers remain optimistic despite cash-strapped customers, high fuel costs  

Last month we said the consumer could very well prove to be the story of 2013, which is a belief that was reinforced by many of the dealers we speak with. Our hope is that January’s results are not indicative of how this story plays out throughout the rest of the year.

Tags: John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Your Marketplace

Serious concerns linger surrounding consumer spending strength
February 13, 2013

Serious concerns linger surrounding consumer spending strength  

Well, we made it through 2012, which almost everyone can agree was not the tire industry’s banner year. As we were winding down the year, dealers got their Christmas wish answered as winter finally made its presence felt.

Tags: John Healy, Nick Mitchell, tire industry analyst, Your Marketplace

John Healy and Nick Mitchell
January 24, 2013

Dealers continue to benefit from lower tire costs  

We think that weak consumer demand and the lower prices of Chinese tires in the post-Tariff 421 world continue to be the big stories in the tire industry right now.

Tags: John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Tire costs, Your Marketplace

John Healy and Nick Mitchell
December 18, 2012

Dealers remain cautious about operating trends going forward  

There were some noticeable developments in the tire industry during October. Namely, tire dealers received modest price concessions from the manufacturers as raw material costs remained at favorable levels, and the benefits from the expiration of Tariff 421 accelerated (the post-tariff pricing was intact for the entire month).

Tags: Chinese tariffs, John Healy, Ludwig Report, Nick Mitchell, Your Marketplace

John Healy (left) and Nick Mitchell.
November 7, 2012

Effect of Tariff 421 elimination is still being sorted out  

As expected, wholesalers reported that they continued to hold off on purchases during the month until they got more visibility regarding the expiration of tariffs on tires imported from China.

Tags: Chinese tariffs, John Healy, Nick Mitchell, Your Marketplace

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John Healy (left) and Nick Mitchell.
October 18, 2012

All eyes were focused on the expiration of Tariff 421  

A number of independent tire dealers were surveyed concerning current business trends. Except for tire prices and costs, the results of the August 2012 survey are compared with those of August 2011.

Tags: John Healy, Ludwig Report, Nick Mitchell, Your Marketplace

Goodyear, Cooper win with sharply different product strategies
September 14, 2012

Goodyear, Cooper win with sharply different product strategies  

In 2Q12, Cooper Tire saw its North American volume increase by 15% while Goodyear’s replacement volume in N.A. fell by 10%. The overall market was relatively flat with 2Q11. Yet, Cooper’s operating margin in N.A. that quarter was 8.4% while Goodyear’s was not too different at 7.7%.

Tags: Cooper, Goodyear, Ludwig Report, Saul Ludwig

Lower raw material costs should have positive impact on your gross profit
August 22, 2012

Lower raw material costs should have positive impact on your gross profit  

I speak with several tire dealers every month. During the last three months, the ratio of dealers reporting weak business to improving business still not good — but a glimmer of evidence that a turn in business may be occurring.

Tags: Ludwig Report, Saul Ludwig, The Ludwig Report

Short-term, look for a decline in Chinese tire imports
June 19, 2012

Short-term, look for a decline in Chinese tire imports  

The Chinese tariffs end on Sept. 26, 2012 — what happens then? After shipping and handling expenses, I expect the net unit cost to an importer of Chinese tires to decline by approximately 12% vs. today’s cost, and I would then expect to see an increase in the number of tires that come into the U.S. from China.

Tags: Chinese tariffs, Saul Ludwig, The Ludwig Report

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