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Michelin Reports Stronger Tire Sales for October

Michelin has released its October 2009 and year-to-date figures for tire sales, and the figures offer a significantly more positive performance in some key sectors, though difficulties remain. In original equipment passenger car and light truck tire markets, October replacement sales were up in all three of Michelin’s reported regions compared to October 2008, with Europe up 6.4% (of which Europe excluding CIS was up 10.4%), North America up 6.9%, and China up 11.4%. However, October’s original equipment PC/LT tire sales were down 0.9% in Europe and 8.4% in North America compared to October 2008, though China showed strong growth of 75.2%. Given the difficulties of the first nine months of the year, YTD PC/LT sales are still down for both the OE and replacement segments in Europe and North America, though China’s market is up 52.7% in OE and up 14.4% in replacement YTD.

Radial truck tires also posted stronger results in October, at least on the replacement side. Replacement truck tire sales increased 0.4% in Europe including CIS, 16.8% in Brazil, 12.7% in Japan, and 12.1% in China. Among Michelin’s reported regions, only the North American market saw declines in truck tire replacement sales in October, which totaled 3.1%. However, original equipment radial truck tires continued to show steep declines across all regions in October 2009 compared to October 2008, with the steepest percentage declines (60.5%) in Europe including CIS.

Reflecting the deep and prolonged downturn in this segment, truck tire year-to-date figures were down nearly across the board in both the OE and replacement segments. The lone exception was China’s replacement sales, which were up 0.5%.

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