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Are tire shipments up or down? You be the judge

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Based on data from the Rubber Manufacturers Association and a number of quarterly reports from tire manufacturers, the industry is suffering so far this year. But is it?

Modern Tire Dealer conducted an exclusive study to determine how tire dealers viewed climate conditions facing the industry during the first four months. MTD polled two major segments of its tire dealer database -- wholesalers and retailers.

The differences in responses are significant.

Q. How were your tire sales (in units) for the first four months of 2006?

Retailers’ responses:

* 43.6% reported unit sales ahead of 2005 by an average of 13%.

* 48.7% reported unit sales down from 2005 by an average of 18%.

* 7.7% reported unit sales were even with 2005.

Wholesalers’ responses:

* 62.7% reported unit sales ahead of 2005 by an average of 12%.

* 25.4% reported unit sales down from 2005 by an average of 11%.

* 11.9% reported unit sales were even with 2005.

Q. How were your tire sales (in dollars) for the first four months of 2006?

Retailers’ responses:

* 56.0% reported dollar sales ahead of 2005 by an average of 21%.

* 36.3% reported unit sales down from 2005 by an average of 13%.

* 7.7% reported unit sales were even with 2005.

Wholesalers’ responses:

* 72.9% reported dollar sales ahead of 2005 by an average of 14%.

* 16.9% reported unit sales down from 2005 by an average of 10%.

* 10.2% reported unit sales were even with 2005.

Check out the August issue of MTD to find out how retailers and wholesalers fared in the first half of this year.

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