Market could grow 7% this year, says Michelin
"I think we'll end up with the United States market growing by 7% this year, which gets us back to 2007 levels," Bruce Brackett, vice president of sales for Michelin Americas Small Tires, recently told www.moderntiredealer.com.
"I think the massive correction is behind us. A lot of dealers and distributors reduced their inventory levels (in 2009) to protect cash flow. But we've seen some accelerated growth this year."
The fact that motorists are keeping vehicles longer will benefit dealers, he added. "The average age of light vehicles on the road increased from 8.7 years in 2008 to 9.8 years in 2009. In the replacement tire market, this is a very good sign."
Brackett also addressed pent-up demand. "In 2008 and 2009, people were driving less and were delaying their tire purchases for much longer. They've probably delayed their purchases for as long as they can."