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OE tire shipments are WAY up in the first half

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How did tire sales fare in North America in the first half of 2012? According to Groupe Michelin, the results were mixed.

Original equipment shipments were up significantly in the consumer and truck tire segments. OE passenger and light truck tire shipments were up 21% in the first half compared to 1H 2011 (they were up 26% in the second quarter alone).

"The North American market was lifted by record new car sales as buyers replaced aging models," said the company in its first-half 2012 fiscal year results release.

OE truck tire shipments were up 18%. "New truck output exceeded orders during the period in an effort to shorten delivery times."

However, replacement consumer and truck tire shipments in North America were down in the first half.

Demand for replacement passenger and light truck tires declined 3% "in a mixed environment shaped by lower fuel prices, relatively stable average miles traveled, and waning consumer confidence," said Michelin. "Prior year comparatives were high, and growth was impacted by dealer destocking in the first quarter."

Replacement truck tire shipments dropped 5%. "Freight demand remained high in North America, despite a slight slowdown in recent months.

"In this generally favorable environment, replacement markets contracted by 5%, impacted by the strong growth in OE sales, the availability of casings for retreading, and the purchases by large accounts in 2011 ahead of price increases."

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