Tire shipments were expected to increase more than 4 percent in 2013 to 297 million, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). For 2014, RMA expects tire shipments to increase nearly 2 percent to 302 million.
RMA says that increases in vehicle miles driven and registered vehicles triggered a boost in 2013 replacement passenger tire shipments to an expected 200 million units — a nearly 5 percent increase when compared to 2012. For 2014, continued improvement of economic conditions, coupled with lower fuel prices, should increase demand for passenger replacement tires by 1 percent.
Replacement light-truck tire shipments were expected to come in at 29 million in 2013 — an increase of about 3 percent. A further increase in demand of nearly 2 percent is forecast for 2014.
Replacement medium/wide-base/heavy on-highway commercial truck tire shipments were expected to decline by nearly 2 percent to 15.90 million in 2013 as a driver shortage limited truck utilization. A 2-percent increase in demand is anticipated in 2014 as truck tonnage and manufacturing continue to grow.
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