Euro tire demand slows in Q3; still up double-digits year-to-date

BRUSSELS — Replacement consumer and truck tire demand in Europe plateaued in the third quarter at 2020 levels, but overall shipments through the first nine months are up double-digits over 2020 and on par with 2019, according to the latest industry figures. Shipments of replacement consumer tires totaled 60.6 million units in the quarter, marginally up from 60.5 million reported last year and down 1.7% from 61.5 million in 2019, according to figures from the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA). Within the consumer category, though, the data show a continuing shift to all-season tires, as sales of all-seasons shot up 19.7% to 7 million units while shipments of summer car tires fell 11.1% to 16.6 million.

Sales of winter tires remained stable at 23.4 million units. The consumer tire segment includes tires for light commercial vehicles, SUVs, etc. Shipments of replacement truck tires slipped 1.3% from a year ago to 3.56 million units, although that figure is 1.7% ahead of the 2019 level.

Shipments in the quarter of replacement agricultural and two-wheeler tires fell 16.4% and 8% from 2020 to 245,000 and 2.18 million units, respectively. The ag tire category also was behind 2019 by 6.5%, whereas demand for motorcycle and scooter tires was up 16.6% over 2019, the ETRMA said. For the year to date, shipments are still tracking comfortably ahead of 2020.

  • Replacement consumer tires of 164.5 million units are 14.6% ahead of 2020;
  • Truck tire sales of 10.1 million units are 16.2% ahead of 2020;
  • Ag tire sales of 898,000 units are 0.2% behind 2020.
  • Moto/scooter tires of 8.22 million units are 16.9% ahead of 2020.

Commenting on the latest shipment data, ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp said: “Like in 2020, the main story in 2021 remains strong growth in the all-season segment, despite the overall decline in the market.

The data also shows that this beginning of recovery is not yet consolidated for our sector. We hope that the upcoming months will show a more positive trend.” The ETRMA has 14 tire-manufacturing companies among its members, companies whose corporate sales represent 70% of total global sales.

The ETRMA’s data refer to markets in 35 European countries, stretching from Ireland in the West to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and the Baltics in the East plus Malta and Turkey.