COVID-19 has dramatically changed the forecast for U.S. tire shipments in 2020. Before the pandemic, the USTMA was predicting a slight increase in overall shipments, and a positive year for the replacement market in particular.

COVID-19 has dramatically changed the forecast for U.S. tire shipments in 2020. Before the pandemic, the USTMA was predicting a slight increase in overall shipments, and a positive year for the replacement market in particular.

In an updated forecast of U.S. tire shipments, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) shows steep, double-digit decreases for nearly every category. The replacement tire market is expected to fare better than the original equipment market.

The USTMA says it revised its 2020 U.S. tire shipment projections to better reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tire manufacturing sector. 

  2019 Revised 2020 Forecast % Change Units Change
OE tires        
Passenger 46.3 35.0 -24.3% -11.2
Light truck 5.9 4.8 -18.4% -1.1
Truck 6.5 4.5 -30.7% -2.0
         
Replacement tires        
Passenger 222.6 184.4 -17.2% -38.2
Light truck 32.5 27.3 -16.0% -5.2
Truck 18.9 17.6 -7.3% -1.4
Total Shipments 332.7 273.6 -17.8% -59.1

Shipments are in millions. Figures are rounded. 

The USTMA typically provides shipment projections three times a year. The association says these numbers are an "update" to the figures released in March, before the coronavirus forced a national economic downturn and shuttered most U.S. tire plants. The figures next will be updated in July.

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