Brussels – The worrying impact of Covid-19 on the European tire industry is becoming “more apparent”, according to the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA).
Third-quarter demand for replacement passenger car tires fell 1.9% year-on-year to 60.4 million units, ETRMA’s latest quarterly report – based on data supplied by its member companies.
The data, issued 14 Oct, indicated a slowdown in the rate of decline within the consumer tire market – over the first three quarters of 2020, sales fell 14.4% year-on-year to 143.5 million units.
However, ETRMA expects demand for passenger car tires to fall further, as the pandemic limits transit demand and governments ask citizens to limit contact and movement.
After touching the “lowest point” in May, the truck tire market witnessed a “timid positive sign” in the third quarter, posting a 2.9% year-on-year increase to 3.6 million units.
Overall, the truck tire segment posted an 8% decline in the first nine months of the year to 8.7 million units, according to the ETRMA review.
On the other hand, off-road and motorbike tire markets saw strong recovery in the three months to end of September, posting gains of 11.6% and 26.7% respectively.
But in her review of the data, ETRMA secretary general Fazilet Cinaralp said the outlook to the end of 2020 “remains gloomy and with a double-digit drop in sales expected across all segments.”
“As the numbers show, the crisis is hitting our industry quite heavily and the situation is not improving,” added Cinaralp, stressing an “urgent need” for measures to support the tire industry.