Brussels – European replacement tire markets have posted their "worst results" in the second quarter and a full recovery is still “far away”, according to the latest figures published by the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA)”.
In a 14 July statement, ETRMA linked the “steep drop” to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, warning that the outlook for 2020 “remains bleak with a double-digit drop in sales expected across all segments.”
All tire types, including consumer, truck & bus, farm and two-wheeler tires, saw sales fall in both the second quarter and the first half of the year.
Over the three months to end of June, replacement passenger car and light vehicle tire sales fell 31% year-on-year to 35 million units, registering an overall 22% decline for the first half to 83 million tires.
Sales of truck and bus tire replacement tires also decreased 23% to 2.2 million units during the three-month period, posting a 14% drop to 5.1 million for the first six months.
Agricultural tires performed relatively stronger, posting a 4% decline in the second quarter to 295,000 units. For the first half, the figure was down 9% to 606,000 pieces.
The quarter also saw a 26% drop in the sales of two-wheeler replacement tires to just under 2 million units, posting an overall decrease of 23% to 4.7 million tires in the first half.
The declines, ETRMA said, were “expected”, reflecting the “full effect” of the pandemic on business.
According to the association, European manufacturers were shut for an average of 33 days due to Covid and resumed production in May after lockdowns were eased.
“As a result, there was a slight upward trend in tire replacement sales visible towards the end of the quarter,” ETRMA added.
Despite the optimistic trend towards the end of the period, the association warned that a recovery in the sector was not “just dependent on Europe’s situation” due to the global nature of the industry.
“The tire sector’s full recovery is still far away. For the moment, we can only hope for the market to stabilise in the second half of the year,” said Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of ETRMA.