Tire shipments take a dive in September

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Domestic replacement consumer tire shipments were down more than 5% in September compared to the same month last year, according to the latest report from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).

Replacement passenger tire shipments for the month totaled 17.4 million, down from nearly 18.4 million in 2003. Replacement light truck tire shipments totaled almost 3.2 million in September, down from more than 3.3 million last year.

Taking into account both replacement and original equipment tires, only OE medium truck tire shipments increased in September. Here are the 2004 vs. 2003 tire shipment comparisons for the month:

* Replacement passenger: down 5.2%.

* OE passenger: down 9.4%.

* Replacement light truck: down 5.3%.

* OE light truck: down 13.1%.

* replacement medium truck: down 2.3%.

* OE medium truck: up 49%.

For the first nine months of the year, replacement shipments in the United States remain up compared to 2003, says the RMA. More than 148 million passenger tires have been shipped, up 2.3%, while 26.8 million light truck tires have been shipped, up 6.4%.

OE consumer tire shipments are down 2.5% compared to last year.

In the medium truck tire segment, replacement shipments are up 3.4% through the first nine months, while OE shipments are up 40.1%.

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