February and March showed some signs of growth with a slight upturn in tire and service sales. April sales results stayed neutral. But May tire unit and service sales took yet another tumble.
Tire Review’s exclusive dealer panel reported tire unit sales leveled off in final April results, down just 3% vs. the same month last year. Preliminary numbers for May show a decline in retail demand, with unit sales off almost 4% vs. May 2008.
All three product areas – broadline, UHP and LT/SUV – declined in May, with broadline down 3.9%, UHP off 3.7% and LT/SUV falling 3.8% vs. May 2008.
Final results show that both undercar and underhood service sales were down 1.9% vs. April 2008, and stayed fairly level with March’s -2% results.
May service sales, though, show both undercar and underhood sales declining vs. May 2008. The 3.7% monthly decline came after a slight rebound in February and March from January’s low point.
Dealer panel member comments continue to reflect concerns over the economy. Here is a sampling of what they had to say:
• We’re hanging in there!
• Will any of us be able to retire?
• We need more people buying.
• As long as tire dealers keep their prices down we’ll be OK.
• We need people to spend more money.
• It’s tough just trying to keep up with things.
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