German tire market on the rebound
ERJ staff report (PR)
Essen, Germany – The market for replacement tires in Germany is on a strong recovery track after declines that saw the loss of 6.6 million unit sales over the past three years, according to Peter Huelzer, executive chairman of the BRV (Federal Association of the Tyre Trade and the Vulcanisers’ Skilled Trade).
“After the lean years, we are now facing the second half of 2014 with optimism,” Huelzer said in a presentation at the recent Reifen trade show in Essen. “The first five months were good and our industry has to use the momentum to make up for the losses for 2012 and 2013.”
Helped by an improving economic outlook, BRV is forecasting unit sales increases of: 3.2 percent for passenger car tires; 5.2 percent for off-road tires, 5.2 percent for light truck tires; 3.4 percent for truck tires; 2.2 percent for motorbike tires; 2.5 percent for agricultural tires: and 5 percent for extended mobility tires.
Indeed, Heulzer added that these forecasts are “quite cautious”, noting that some tire manufacturers expect even higher growth rates.
The upbeat assessment for 2014 is in sharp contrast to last year when sales of summer tires declined by 3.6 percent to 21.1 million, while winter tire demand dipped 3.1 percent to 21.7 million units. Unit sales of light truck tires were also down, dropping 5.5 percent in 2013 to 3.26 million.
A bright spot was the off-road tire sector, which was the only area of the consumer market to develop positively last year with 3.28 million units sold.
In the commercial vehicle sector, after a 13-percent decline in the previous year, the number of tires sold in 2013 in the field of truck tires rose by 1.9 percent to 2.67 million units.
An increase of 6.9 percent in new tires sales in this segment was in contrast to a 5.8-percent decline in retreaded tires sales. This, said Huelzer, was due to an insufficient availability of carcasses of suitable quality for retreading.