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Ludwig: Tire demand is looking up

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According to tire industry analyst Saul Ludwig, global replacement tire shipments were up in October compared to a year ago.

In his most recent "Quick Alert," Ludwig, a managing director with KeyBanc Capital Markets, said positive comparative volume in October "clearly shows an improving trend." His view was based on information from Groupe Michelin.

In North America, Europe and China, replacement consumer tires were up 7%, 6% and 11%, respectively, in October versus October 2008. "This is good for both Goodyear and Cooper Tire."

Medium truck tire shipments were up 17% in Brazil, 13% in Japan and 12% in China, which offset a 3% decrease in North America. There was no change in Europe.

In contrast, replacement consumer tire shipments for the first nine months of 2009 were down in Europe (by 10%) and North America (6%) compared to the first nine months of 2008. In China, shipments were up 14%.

Replacement medium truck tire shipments were down across the board for the first nine months compared to last year:

Japan, down 33%;

Europe, down 26%;

Brazil, down 20%;

North America, down 16%;

China, down 1%.

"In the truck segment, replacement comps are improving in all areas of the world," wrote Ludwig. "This is especially important and better news for Goodyear."

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