Brussels – The severe impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the tire sector is clearly shown in the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association’s figures for members’ sales in 2020.
Reviewing a “very difficult year for the industry,” ETRMA said OE segments were hit the hardest, recording declines of 23% in the consumer tire market and 18% in the truck tire segment.
Replacement markets in all the segments were also negatively impacted, with the consumer car tire segment recording a fall in demand of around 12%, the association reported 21 Jan.
Falls in demand for winter tires of 20% and 13% for summer tires, were only partly offset by a positive trend in the all-season tire segment.
ETRMA registered declines of 4% in the truck tire segment, and 9% in moto tires. In contrast, agricultural tire sales “performed steadily” compared to the prior year.
The effects of pandemic, including lockdowns, plant closures and the economic crisis “strongly impacted the tire sector, not only in terms of sales but also in terms of jobs lost” said Fazilet Cinaralp, ETRMA secretary general.
The huge drop in the OE consumer tire market is a direct consequence of the 23.7% contraction announced for 2020 by the EU passenger car industry, Cinaralp also noted.
But while activity was starting to pick up in the agricultural, moto & scooter and truck tire segments, the consumer market “remains negative,” according to the ETRMA report.
One factor, it noted, is that the relatively mild winter during lockdown periods led many drivers to not replace their summer tires with winter ones.
Looking ahead, Cinaralp emphasised: “It will be key for our sector to continue the collaboration with the EU institutions and national governments to develop schemes to facilitate the recovery, in order to… exit from this unprecedented crisis.“