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RMA: The need for speed trumps weather

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Which seasonal replacement tire segment grew the most in 2012 compared to 2011? According to the preliminary edition of the Rubber Manufacturers Association's "2013 Factbook," the market continues to have a need for speed.

The numbers, which were released on Feb. 15, were up 5.3% for high performance tires and 1.8% for ultra-high performance tires. All-season replacement tire shipments were down 4.1%, while winter tire shipments (defined as "traction and snow treads") were down 24.2%.

Original equipment shipments in all four categories were up in 2012 vs. 2011. Here is the two-year breakdown of OE passenger tire shipments in the United States (in millions of units):

Tread design                                          2011    2012      % OE growth

Winter (traction and snow treads):        1.0         1.2      +20%

Summer (V/Z-rated and higher):            5.2         6.9      +32.7%

High performance (H-rated)                    7.9      10.6      +34.1%

All-season                                                 29.6      31.8      +7.4%

In 2012, the RMA says there were 191.4 million replacement and 40 million OE passenger tire units shipped in the U.S.

For more statistical information, see "RMA: Total shipments top 284 million units."

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