Goodyear sees North America replacement tyre market flat in ‘13

17 April 2013 20:59  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN FRANCISCO (ICIS)--Goodyear expects the North American replacement tyre market to be flat in 2013 and grow by about 2% in 2014, the company said on Wednesday.

North American replacement tyre sales will be 239.7m units in 2013 and 244.5m in 2014, said John Peer, vice president of retail for Goodyear. He was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the International Institute for Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP).

Looking at tyre sales to automakers, Peer said North American sales are expected to grow by about 4.2% in 2013 to 56.7m tyres. In 2014, North American sales to automakers are expected to grow by about 5.6% to 59.9m units.

Peer said that tyre production in the US has declined, on average, by about 4.6% since 2000.

Peer said that Goodyear has improved rolling resistance on its new Assurance tyre by 27%, which improves fuel economy, on average, by 4%, saving drivers about 2,600 miles (4,200 km) worth of gas over the life of the tyre.

Goodyear closed 10 stocking locations in North America from 2008 to 2012 to improve efficiency in its supply chain, Peer said. But the business has become more complicated. In 2004, 108 different tyre sizes covered about 80% of the market. Now, Peer said, it takes about 207 different tyre sizes to capture 80% of the market.

Peer said that consumers consider tyres a grudge purchase, or something they have to do.

“Consumers will drive days or weeks with a leaky tyre,” Peer said.

He also said that when the economy slows, consumers wait until the last possible moment to replace tyres. This is the main factor driving worse-than-expected replacement tyre sales around the globe.

"When I look at our scrap tyre piles, not only are they bald, but the cords are showing," he said.

By: Mark Yost
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