The top four replacement passenger tire sizes in 2008 were the same as they were in 2007, according to the "2009 Preliminary Tire Industry Factbook," published by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). There were a few significant changes in the most popular original equipment shipments, however.
At the replacement level, P225/60R16, P235/75R15, P205/65R15 and P215/70R15 ranked one through four last year. The four sizes represented 13.3% of the shipments reported by RMA-member companies. The fifth-place size in 2007, P205/70R15, dropped to eighth, with the sixth, seventh and eighth most popular sizes moving up.
At the OE level, P215/60R16 remained number one; it represented 8% of RMA shipments in the United States. The new number two, P225/50R17 (4.8%), was the eighth most popular size in 2007. Sizes P265/70R17, P195/60R15 and P215/55R17 rounded out the top five.
The top 10 replacement P-metric sizes represented 25.6% of the total replacement shipments, while the top 10 OE sizes accounted for 39.8% of the total OE shipments.
There was a major change in replacement LT tire shipments, with LT245/75R16 -- the most popular OE size since 1993 -- moving to number one on the replacement side as well. It passed LT265/75R16, which falls to number two. Between them, the two sizes represent 32% of the replacement LT tire shipments.
Rounding out the top five are LT235/85R16, LT225/75R16 and LT265/70R17. The top 10 replacement LT sizes represent 77.9% of the replacement shipments.
Size LT245/75R16 is clearly number one at OE, where it accounts for 36.3% of the tires shipped in the U.S. in that segment. The second most popular tire is LT225/75R16 (16.2%), followed by LT265/70R17 (9.4%), LT245/75R17 (6.7%) and 37x12.50R16.5 (4.8%).
The top 10 OE LT sizes represent 88.2% of total OE shipments.
There were very few changes in the most popular replacement and OE medium/wide base truck tire segments. The top five sizes in each represented 75.2% and 77.6% of their markets, respectively.
Size 295/75R22.5 topped both segments, followed by 11R22.5 and 11R24.5. However, 225/70R19.5 was the fifth most popular replacement size, while it was the fourth most popular OE size.
At the replacement level, 285/75R24.5 (also fourth in 2007), rounded out the top five sizes. At the OE level, 315/80R22.5 replaced 245/70R19.5 at the number five spot.