According to the preliminary edition of its 2018 U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) Factbook, replacement passenger and truck tire shipments reached record highs.
In the domestic replacement market, passenger tire shipments were up by 700,000 units, from 208.6 million to 209.3 million. On the commercial side, truck and bus tire shipments were up 900,000 units, from 18.6 million to 19.5 million.
Replacement light truck tire shipments were down 700,000 units, from 31.9 million to 31.2 million. Conversely, original equipment LT tire shipments were upf 500,000 units, from 4.9 million to 5.4 million.
Replacement and OE shipments combined for 316 million units, down from 318.3 in 2016.
Passenger and light truck tire exports from USTMA members were down 3.5%, from 31.4 million units to 30.3 million units. Medium, heavy and wide-base tire exports also were down slightly, from 2.6 million units to 2.5 million units.
Despite an increase in production capacity, overall USTMA production was down 2.6%, broken out as follows: passenger tire production down 1.9%, light truck tire production down 7.7%, and truck tire production was up 2.1%.
Consumer tire imports were down nearly 2%, while truck tire imports were up 2.1%. USTMA based its import data on U.S. Department of Commerce data.
Here's the breakdown of replacement shipments by brand-type (with 2013 percentages in parentheses for comparison purposes):
Type Passenger Light truck
Manufacturers 77% (84%) 85% (84%)
Associate 12% (8%) 7% (7%)
Private 11% (8%) 8% (9%)
Based on the first point of distribution, independent tire dealers accounted for 66% of passenger tire shipments and 79% of light truck tire shipments in 2017.
USTMA's "Factbook 2018" is a report on tire shipment activity in the United States for 2017. For information on how to purchase the report, visit www.ustires.com.