The topsy-turvy tire and auto service year closed as it began, sliding down in December after an unexpected up-tick in late November. All tire and service sales segments measured appear to have ended 2009 at levels below those posted in 2008.
Click here for January 2010 charts.
The Tire Review Dealer Panel reported that final November 2009 tire unit sales were 2% higher than those from November 2008. But preliminary sales results for December show a softening in retail demand, with unit sales falling off about 1% vs. December 2008. In the individual tire segments, all three product areas are below last year.
Final November service sales results show both undercar and underhood sales running about 2% ahead year-over-year. Service sales had been consistently running 4%-5% below previous year levels for months. Preliminary December sales results are about 1% off from December 2008.
Dealer Panel member comments reflect concerns over the economy and tire supplies:
• No complaints. I consider myself very fortunate.
• It’s pretty much the same as always – the economy.
• I’m frustrated with the switch from lead weights to steel weights.
• We’re still not seeing jobs for our people, but we are seeing more repairs come in.
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The Tire Review Dealer Panel consists of more than 120 tire dealers across the country who participate in a monthly survey about business conditions and issues of interest to all tire dealers. Be a part of this group by contacting John Montgomery of Marketplace Insights at email@example.com or 920-487-8020.