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RMA: Replacement Tire Market Outshines OE in 2016

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The final 2016 forecast by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) of U.S. tire shipments shows a slight overall increase for the year. And the news is better for the replacement market than for original equipment tire orders.

  2015 Final 2016 Forecast % Change Unit Change
OE Tires 49.7 49.6 (0.3) (0.2)
Passenger 4.4 4.8 9.5 0.4
Light Truck 6.2 5.1 (17.6) (1.1)
Replacement Tires        
Passenger 206.1 205.2 (0.5) (1.0)
Light Truck 29.1 31.5 7.9 2.3
Truck 17.9 18.4 2.5 0.4
Total Shipments 313.5 314.4 0.3 0.9

All shipments are in millions, and figures are rounded by the RMA. Numbers in parenthesis are negative.

Five things to know:

  1. These estimates from the RMA cover all shipments, including RMA members as well as non-members.
  2. Only one segment of the market has shown improvement in both OE and replacement shipments — and that’s light truck tires. In OE LT tires are up 9.5%, and in replacement they’re up 7.9%.In both categories the figures are beating the RMA's projections for the year which were published in March.
  3. Passenger tire shipments are down slightly for both OE and replacement.
  4. OE truck tires took the biggest hit in 2016, with an estimated 1.1 million fewer tires shipped, down 17.6% compared to 2015. Replacement truck tires had a better year, with growth of about .4 million, or 2.5%.
  5. Overall, 2016 tire shipments are up less than 1 million tires, or .3%, to 314.4 million.

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