The domestic tire industry reached two milestones in 2017. Replacement passenger tire shipments totaled 208.3 million units, the most ever. And replacement truck tire shipments totaled 19.2 million units, also a record high. (According to U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association preliminary figures, the totals will be 209.4 million and 19.4 million, respectively.)
Replacement light truck tire shipments reached their high-water mark last year.
The record passenger tire shipment number was especially surprising given the 35.6% drop in consumer tire imports from China. There also was a 20.5% drop in truck tire imports from China.
Original equipment shipments were down, up and up. Passenger units were down close to 5%, perhaps due in part to the disappearing spare. The American Automobile Association says 28% of the 2017 model-year vehicles came without spare tires. Temporary spares also are not counted in the shipments.
In contrast, light truck units were up 10%, and truck tire shipments were up 7.5%.