RMA: The need for speed trumps weather
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."