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Global Tire Market Suffers Due to COVID-19

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Global Tire Market Suffers Due to COVID-19

Michelin Group has released the first data that shows the impact of the COVID-19 global health crisis on the tire industry.

As of the end of February 2020, Michelin says the global passenger and light truck tire market is down 9% year-over-year. The truck tire market is down 16% year-over year.

On March 18, alongside its latest market report, Michelin responded by saying it “has decided to close, for at least one week, its production facilities located in the European countries most affected so far by the pandemic.” (The same day Goodyear announced it was closing its tire production facilities in the Americas through April 3.)

Michelin also says its guidance for 2020 will be recast, as it “is no longer relevant” in the midst of a global “systemic crisis.”

Here’s a look at the latest global market data from Michelin. (And remember, this is Michelin's look at the entire tire industry. This is not a report of Michelin's performance or sales.)

Passenger and light truck tires

Comparing February 2019 to February 2020:

China is “heavily penalized” by the COVID-19 crisis. The OE tire market is down by 78%, and the replacement tire market fell by 60% compared to February 2019.

In Europe, the impact in February is still limited. OE demand was in line with projections, Michelin says, but the replacement market was suffering from a warm winter and slight destocking effect.

In North America, OE demand in February was stable, while the replacement market decreased significantly “notably because of a high basis of comparison.”

Globally, there were only two bright spots:

  • In North America, OE business was up 1%; and in South America the replacement market was up 4% over February 2019.
  • Year to date, the South American replacement tire business is the only market up over 2020 – it’s up 3%.

Chart: Comparison of February 2020 to February 2019

Region OE Replacement
Europe including Russia & CIS -9% -4%
Europe excluding Russia & CIS -3% -4%
North America +1% -9%
South America -21% +4%
China -78% -60%

(note: CIS includes Turkey)

Truck tires

In the same comparison of February 2019 to February 2020, Michelin sees a “continuing strong decline in OE demand in every market.” The OE truck tire market is down double digits in all four regions Michelin watches.

In the replacement market, February was showing a growing demand in Europe – lifted by imports – while the replacement market was declining in North America. The replacement market was flat-to-positive in the other regions in February.

Chart: Comparison of February 2020 to February 2019

Region OE  Replacement
Europe including Russia & CIS -13% +2%
Europe excluding Russia & CIS -14% +4%
North America -21% -6%
South America -14% 0%

(note: CIS includes Turkey)

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