ERJ staff report (DS)
Paris - The truck tyre sector may be recovering, according to new data from Michelin. The company has updated its website with tyre market data for the month of December and the full year 2009. The new data shows strong demand growth in car tyres and significant - albeit patchy -- growth in the OE truck sector though replacement truck tyre sales are still very weak.
In radial truck OE sales,there was patchy growth around the world, with sales from Brazil more then doubling. Europe continues to see little sign of recovery. Sales for the full year were down by 63.7 percent, December's sales fell by 32.2 percent year on year. The appalling decline in North American truck OE sales eased, with sales in the full year down by 37.9 percent, though December saw the first growth - just 0.4 percent - for many months.
The Brazilian market boomed in December. Sales were up by an astonishing 141 percent in the month, and this helped reduce the full-year figure to a reduction of 20.6 percent. China's OE truck sales went down, continuing the patchy trend. Sales for the full year were down by just 4.3 percent, but December was a poor month, with sales down by 24.1 percent on the same month in 2008. Japanese OE sales also reversed, showing a growth of 25.1 percent in the single month, although the full year saw a 49.4 percent decline.
Truck replacement tyres in December were the healthiest they have been for months. European truck tyre markets fell by 19.8 percent in the twelve months, but the December figure showed a very encouraging 20.1 percent increase over the same month in 2008. North America fell by 11.6 percent in the year to December, but showed an increase of 1.7 percent in the year-on-year figure. In Brazil, December's year-on-year growth of 28.2 percent slowed the twelve-month decline to 13.4 percent. Asian replacement markets were also patchy, with China showing 2.3 percent growth in the year to December, but this masked a decline of 3.3 percent in the most recent month. Japanese truck tyre sales grew sharply in December. The 21.0 percent growth bringing the full year decline 18.4 percent.
Michelin said the total European OE market for car tyres in the twelve months to December 2008 was down by 19.9 percent, while the year-on-year figure for December jumped by a massive 40.7 percent. The site gives only percentage changes, not absolute numbers. The North American market also continued with a slow recovery, with the equivalent figures showing a decline of 32.3 percent for the twelve-month period and a year-on-year increase in December of 7.7 percent.
Chinese OE car tyre sales blew everything else out of the water, with sales in December 2009 more than double the 2008 figure. This 129 percent increase saw China finish the year with sales up by a huge 65 percent on 2008.
In the replacement business, the decline in Europe also reversed in December, with the twelve-month figures showing a fall of 5.2 percent and the one-month figure up by 17.0 percent. In North America, the replacement market fell by 2.3 percent in the full twelve months, helped by a rise in December of 7.7 percent.
Chinese replacement sales also grew strongly, with the increase in the full year running at 16.9 percent, with the December-December sales up by 21 percent.
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Press release from Michelin