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RMA: Total shipments top 284 million units

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) released the preliminary edition of its "2013 Factbook" on Feb. 15. The publication is a report on tire shipment activity in the United States for 2012.

Compared to 2011, the replacement numbers were down across the board.

In the domestic replacement market, passenger tire shipments were down 1.5% (from 194.4 million units to 191.4 million), while light truck tire shipments were down 2% (from 28.6 million to 28 million). Truck and bus tire shipments were down 3.6% (from 16.5 million to 15.9 million).

Original equipment shipments rose in two of the three segments -- and stayed the same in one. Passenger tire shipments were up 12% to 40 million units (after being up 7.8% the year before). Light truck tire shipments remained level at 4.2 million units, while truck tire shipments were up 4% to 5.1 million.

Replacement and OE shipments combined for 284.6 million units, up one-tenth of a percent versus 2011.

Consumer (passenger and light truck) and commercial (medium, heavy and wide-base) tire exports from RMA members were down 2.8%, from 31.5 million to 30.6 million. Overall RMA production was down 5.6% to 161.9 million units, broken out as follows: Passenger tire shipments were down 6.1%, light truck tire shipments were down 2.3%, and truck tire shipments were down 7%.

In contrast, tire imports, based on U.S. Department of Commerce data, were up 5%. broken out as follows: Passenger tire imports were up 5.8%, light truck tire imports were up 2.4%, and truck tire shipments were up 1.9%.

Manufacturers accounted for 81% of replacement passenger tire shipments for the second year in a row, and 80% of light truck tires (down from 82%). Here's the breakdown of replacement shipments by brand-type:

Type                      Passenger   Light truck

Manufacturers     81%               80%

Associate             10%                 9%

Private                     9%                11%

Independent tire dealers accounted for 65% of passenger tire shipments (down from 66% in 2011) and 79% of light truck tire shipments (same as in 2011) based on the first point of distribution.

For more statistical information, see "RMA: The need for speed trumps weather."

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