Washington — The US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) is revising its 2020 tire shipments projection slightly upward, based on less pessimistic projections for replacement market shipments for the remainder of the year.
The latest numbers were released on 3 Aug.
Replacement passenger and light truck tire shipments are projected to fall 15.2% and 11.8% short of 2019 shipments, respectively, the USTMA said in its latest report, slight "improvements" versus the forecasts of 17.2% and 16% drops issued in late April.
Replacement shipments of medium/heavy truck tires are now projected to be 5% lower than a year ago, versus the earlier forecast of a 7.3% drop.
The total unit reduction for replacement tires is projected to be 38.7 million units, versus 44.7 million units.
The USTMA did not comment on its reasons for the revised shipment forecast, which reflects input from the trade group's 13 members.
Original Equipment (OE) shipments for passenger, light truck and truck tires are expected to decrease by 24.5%, 21% and 32.6% respectively, by a total of 14.7 million units, the USTMA said, which is 300,000 units more than the group projected in April after the declaration social-distancing measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prior to that, in early March, the USTMA said it expected US tire shipments would increase slightly over 2019 to 333.2 million units, led by strong aftermarket demand for truck tires.
Overall, shipments are expected to fall to 279.4 million units from 332.7 million units in 2019.
By category, the shipment projections are:
• Passenger — down 15.2% to 188.7 million units;
• Light truck — down 11.8% to 28.7 million units; and
• Medium/heavy truck — down 5% to 18 million units.
Original equipment market:
• Passenger — down 24.5% to 34.9 million units;
• Light truck — down 21% to 4.6 million units; and
• Medium/heavy truck — down 32.6% to 4.4 million units.
The group did not comment on the prospects for US production versus imports.
The USTMA's 13 member companies operate 58 tire-related factories in 17 states and generate more than $27 billion (€23 billion) in annual sales.