Q.How many passenger tire units were shipped in 2008?
A.Approximately 198 million units in the replacement channel and 41.2 million units at the original equipment level. Those numbers were down 3.4% and 14.1%, respectively, from year 2007 levels.
Q.What percent of the U.S. passenger tire market do Chinese tires represent?
A.Approximately 13% in 2007, the most recent year China import numbers were available, according to Modern Tire Dealer research. In 2006, Chinese tires comprised 8.5% of the U.S. passenger tire market, the first year China surpassed both Canada (formerly number one) and Japan (number two) as the top exporter of passenger tires to the U.S.
Q.What company has the largest number of tire manufacturing plants in the U.S, Canada and Mexico?
A.Michelin North America Inc., which has 14 plants (10 in the U.S., three in Canada and one in Mexico). Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. are tied for second place with 10 plants each. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has four plants, while Titan International Inc. and CIA Hulera Tornel each have three plants. Carlisle Tire & Wheel Co. and Specialty Tires of America each have two plants. Companies with one plant include Continental Tire North America Inc., Corporation de Occidente SA de CV, Denman Tire Corp., Pirelli Tire North America, Toyo Tire North America, Trelleborg Wheel Systems and Yokohama Tire Corp. In addition, Continental, Toyo and Yokohama continue to operate their joint venture truck tire plant in Mt. Vernon, Ill.
Q. At what point does a passenger tire’s rolling resistance stabilize?
A. After the tire has been running for 100 to 200 miles at moderate speeds, accelerations/decelerations and cornering. However, there are a number of factors that affect a tire’s overall rolling resistance, including tread wear, operating temperature, vehicle speed, load variations and others. Rolling resistance is at its highest level when the tire is new.
Q. How big must a crown area tire puncture be in order to be fixed using standard “nail hole” repair materials?
A. The puncture can be up to 3/8-inch in diameter. If the injury is larger than 3/8-inch, the tire must be sent to a full-service tire repair facility for a section repair.
Q. What is the most popular P-metric/metric passenger tire size at the original equipment level?
A. The most popular size is P215/60R16, which comprises 8.2% of the total OE P-metric market, according to Modern Tire Dealer research.