Dealers, Distributors Talk Truck Tire Sales

June 18, 2024

Tire dealers and distributors have different points of view on commercial truck tire sales during the rest of 2024.

“The projections by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) for replacement medium truck tire shipments in 2024 are optimistic,” says Seth Kamps, vice president of purchasing and inventory for Byron Center, Mich.-based Wonderland Tire Co. (Editor's note: the USTMA is projecting that 22 million replacement medium truck tires will be shipped in 2024, a 5.9% increase over prior-year levels.)

“The significant decrease in 2023 and early 2024 indicates a market correction compared to the last several years that is likely to continue throughout 2024,” says Kamps. 

“Thus, it is probably more realistic that replacement medium truck tire shipments are flat in the first six months of 2024, with a slight increase occurring in the third and fourth quarters, compared to 2023. 

“Although pent-up demand may cause some increased sales activity in the market, there is also the fact that many tire distributors over-estimated demand in 2023 and therefore have a surplus of inventory that will need to be sold at current market rates. 

“An additional consideration is the Congressional Budget Office’s Economic Outlook report for 2024, which is projecting an economic slowdown in 2024 compared to prior years. Also many businesses are indicating signs of slowdown, which will have an adverse effect on the trucking industry and medium truck tire sales.” 

Miami, Fla.-based Tire Group International LLC (TGI) has a more optimistic outlook.

“The emphasis on infrastructure spending in the U.S. is expected to spur construction and development projects, boosting freight movement and creating additional demand not only in medium commercial truck tires, but industrial and OTR tires, as well,” says Joaquin Gonzalez Jr., president of TGI, who adds that he expects to see “higher utilization of medium trucks and subsequently, a greater need for tires. 

“I also see the continued growth of e-commerce, coupled with technological advancements in tire durability and fuel efficiency, which will continue to create new demand in the (TBR) segment. 

“These factors collectively indicate a promising year ahead for the medium truck tire market in the U.S.” 

 Brian Chase, president of Frederick, Md.-based Rice Tire Co., says the jury is still out. 

“For 2024, we are optimistic that construction will come back to have a good year with the infrastructure work and housing starts we are seeing in our geography. It won’t be as strong as 2021 and 2022, but hopefully better than last year.

“As for the long-haul transportation side of the business, your guess is as good – or probably better – than mine!” 

Read truck tiremakers' thoughts on TBR tire sales for the rest of 2024 here

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.