European tire demand spikes in Q2, ‘reinforcing’ industry recovery

BRUSSELS — Replacement market demand in Europe for car, truck and motorcycle tires spiked in the second quarter, “reinforcing” the industry’s recovery from the depths of the COVID-19 market implosion a year ago, new industry data show.

Industry shipments in these three categories were all up over 40% in the April-June period, according to the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) latest report, while shipments in the agriculture segment — which was much less affected a year ago by the pandemic — rose about 6%.

The second-quarter spike pushed the half-year performance as well, with shipments up at least 25% in the three main categories.

For the quarter, consumer tire shipments jumped 43.7% to 50.2 million units, a level that’s nearly on par with shipments in the 2019 period, the ERTMA data show. For the half year, the growth was 25.3% to 104 million units.

Within the category, shipments in the quarter of all-season tires leapt 74.6% over the 2020 period and were up 37% over the comparable 2019 period as well, the ETRMA data show. Despite the growth, all-season products are still a relatively small part of the car tire segment in Europe at 10.9% of shipments.

Shipments of truck tires in the second quarter surged by 42% to 3.22 million units, a level that’s also 8.8% higher than in the comparable 2019 quarter, the ERTMA said, with shipments for the first and second quarters up 28% to 6.56 million units.

The 2-wheeler (motorcycles and scooters) segment registered 42% growth in the quarter to 2.81 million units and 27.1% growth for the half year, to 6.05 million units.

Lagging behind but still in the positive territory, the agriculture segment posted a 6.4% increase in the quarter, to 307,000 units, and 7.6% for the half year, to 653,000 units.

Shipments in the quarter were 2.3% ahead of the second quarter of 2019.

“The second quarter positive results in all the segments are very promising for the recovery of the tire industry and for the society,” Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of the ERTMA, said. “We are relieved and confident to see that, also thanks to the vaccine campaign, the world is restarting to move again.”

Comparing the 2021 data with 2019 same period, she said, “we observe that we are slowly going back to the same level, with the car all-seasons tires leading the trend.”