Consistency, thy name is not “tire and service sales.” After an October that saw tire and service sales improve year-over-year, it was back to more of the same in November with sales falling below those of November 2008. That has been the theme in 2009, where for one month sales edge up to level or slightly better, and show a decline the following month.
The Tire Review Dealer Panel reported that final October 2009 tire unit sales were 1% higher than last year’s levels. Preliminary results for November show a softening in retail demand, with unit sales falling off about 1% vs. November 2008. In the individual tire segments, all three product areas are now just slightly below last year.
Final October service sales results show both undercar and underhood sales running about 0.5% ahead of last year’s levels. Service sales had been consistently running 4%-5% below previous year levels for months. Preliminary November numbers are about 1% behind last year.
Dealer Panel member comments reflect concerns over the economy and tire supplies:
• We need cold weather and snow. November has just been too warm. We usually do well in November, but not this year.
• Hard to predict how it’s gonna go out here.
• We need to see some price increases.
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The Tire Review Dealer Panel currently consists of more than 120 tire dealers across the country. These retailers have agreed to participate in a monthly survey about business conditions and issues of interest to all tire dealers. If you would like to be a part of this ground-breaking industry group and are willing to give us five minutes of your time each month, we would like to hear from you. Please contact John Montgomery of Marketplace Insights at [email protected] or 920-487-8020.