Tire demand weakens in Europe
Demand for tires in Europe is rapidly decreasing in both the consumer and commercial tire sectors.
"The European original equipment business in the passenger tire sector declined by 20% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and by even more than 30% in the first two months of the current year," reports Dr. Hans-Joachim Nikolin, who is in charge of Continental AG's tire divisions.
"The passenger tire replacement market also shows a considerable weakening of demand."
On the commercial tire side, OE sales in Europe dropped 20% during the fourth quarter of last year. "This trend has accelerated dramatically in the first two months of the current year."
Europe's replacement commercial tire sector fell more than 15% in the last quarter of 2008, he adds.