Wholesale Distribution

1Q wholesale report: much better than retail

Order Reprints

The average wholesale tire dealer fared better than his retail counterpart during the first three months of the year, according to Modern Tire Dealer's State-of-the Industry Survey. Compared to the same period in 2008, the numbers were improved.

(For a look at how retail tire dealers fared, check out "1Q retail report: It was bad," on www.moderntiredealer.com.)

Close to half (46%) of the respondents to the exclusive first-quarter 2009 survey reported unit sales were down -- by an average of 13%. Another 35% reported sales were up by an average of 15%.

When taking dollar sales into account, the outlook was slightly better: 43% reported sales were down by an average of 13%, while 45% said dollar sales were up by 13%. Unit and dollar sales were even for the rest of the dealers (19% and 12%, respectively).

All dealers being equal, the average wholesale dealer experienced a 0.7% decrease in unit sales and a 0.2% increase in dollar sales for the first quarter of 2009. Here's how those numbers compare to first-quarter survey results for the last two years.

Average 1Q results for wholesale tire dealers (compared to the previous year)

Sales              2009              2008              2007

Units:              Down 0.7%   Down 2.4%  Up 5.3%

Dollars:           Up 0.2%        Down 0.7%  Up 7.2%

When asked, "What do you project your full-year tire sales to be?" tire dealers were more optimistic than pessimistic. Some 43.4% projected unit sales will be up (by an average of 14%) compared to 2008, while 50.5% believe their dollar sales will be up (by an average of 13%).

In contrast, 35.4% projected unit sales will be down by an average of 12%, while 34.3% believe dollar sales will be down by an average of 11%. The remaining dealers projected no change in their respective unit and dollar sales.

When MTD asked wholesalers to compare their "bottom-line profitability" for the first three months of 2009 to the same time frame in 2008, overall results were similar: 39.6% said sales were up, 41.6% said sales were down, and 18.8% said sales were the same.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.