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Fast Start to Year: Service Sales Well Above 2006, Tire Unit Sales Trending Upward

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Welcome to Business Barometer, a report on retail tire and service activities – by tire dealers, for tire dealers. Each month, we’ll report on five major retail categories – unit sales of broadline, HP/UHP and LT/SUV tires, and dollar sales of undercar and underhood service – and compare those results the month prior and the same period one year ago.

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Click here for May 2007 charts

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Tire Unit Sales

Tire units have started off 2007 ahead of last year. Total retail tire units in February 2007 were up just over 1.4% vs. the same month last year. March was even better, up 2% vs. March 2006.

In individual segments, broadline tire unit sales were up 2.5% in February vs. the year prior, but cooled in March to just 1.6% over the same month last year. HP/UHP and LT/SUV unit sales had a more stable start, with both up 1% or better in February and March compared to the same months of 2006.

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Despite a bout of bad weather in the early spring, tire unit sales continued their upward trends in April. Overall, tire unit sales were up 4.1% vs. April 2006.

By segment and compared to April 2006, broadline unit sales were up 3.1%, HP/UHP units were up just 2.7%, and LT/SUV tire unit sales were up 4.7%.

Service Sales

On the vehicle service side, overall service dollars are running ahead of last year by 3%. February 2007 saw undercar sales up 3.2% and underhood sales up 4.4% vs. the same month last year. March softened slightly, with undercar and underhood up 2.7% and 3.6%, respectively, compared to March 2006.

For the month of April 2007, vehicle service sales in dollars were up 4.7% vs. the same month last year. Dealers reported a sharp increase in undercar service, which was up 4.7% vs. April 2006, while underhood service saw a mild 3.3% increase compared to the same month last year.

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