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RMA: Tire shipments close in on 300 million

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RMA: Tire shipments close in on 300 million

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) released the preliminary edition of its "2014 Factbook" on Feb. 14. The publication is a report on tire shipment activity in the United States for 2013.

Compared to 2012, the consumer tire numbers were up across the board.On the truck and bus side, however, both original equipment and replacement shipments were down compared to the previous year.

In the domestic replacement market, passenger tire shipments were up 4.3% (from 190.9.4 million units to 199.1 million), while light truck tire shipments were up 1% (from 28.1 million to 28.4 million). Truck and bus tire shipments were down less than 1% (from 15.8 million to 15.7 million).

Original equipment shipments rose in the passenger and light truck tire segments. Passenger tire shipments were up 9% to 43.6 million units (after being up 12% the year before). Light truck tire shipments were up 4.5% to 4.4 million units, while truck tire shipments were down nearly 6% to 4.8 million.

Replacement and OE shipments combined for nearly 300 million units (296 million), up 4.2% versus 2012.

Consumer (passenger and light truck) and commercial (medium, heavy and wide-base) tire exports from RMA members were up slightly, from 30.7 million to 30.9 million. Overall RMA production was down 3.4% to 156.3 million units, broken out as follows: Passenger tire shipments were down 3.4%, light truck tire shipments were down 7.8%, and truck tire shipments were up 4.5%.

In contrast, tire imports, based on U.S. Department of Commerce data, were up 12.4%, broken out as follows: Passenger tire imports were up 12.8%, light truck tire imports were up 18.5%, and truck tire shipments were down 3.7%.

Manufacturers accounted for 84% of the replacement passenger tire shipments, up from 81% in 2012 (and 2011), and 84% of the light truck tires, up from 80% in 2012. Here's the breakdown of replacement shipments by brand-type (with 2012 percentages in parentheses):

Type                      Passenger   Light truck

Manufacturers       84% (81%)    84% (80%)

Associate                8% (10%)       7% (9%)

Private                     8% (9%)         9% (11%)

Based on the first point of distribution, independent tire dealers accounted for 65% of passenger tire shipments, the same as the previous year. They accounted for 80% of light truck tire shipments, up from 79% in 2012.

For more information on the RMA's latest numbers, check out these links:

"RMA: No surprises in truck tire sizes."

"RMA: Tires are built for more speed."

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