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Tire Sales Show Growing Desire for Larger Vehicles Over Sedans, NPD Reports

Across the country, larger tires are rising in popularity – 17-inch+ rim diameter tires have gained nearly 12 unit share points over the last three years, according to retail sales data from The NPD Group. These larger tires now account for almost half of all passenger car/light truck units sold across the U.S, NPD says.

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NPD-Group-2015-Logo-e1540834099941

Across the country, larger tires are rising in popularity – 17-inch-plus rim diameter tires have gained nearly 12 unit share points over the last three years, according to retail sales data from The NPD Group. These larger tires now account for almost half of all passenger car/light truck units sold across the U.S, NPD says.

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“We’re seeing a greater number of bigger vehicles on the road today and in manufacturers’ new lineups. Sedan sales have slowed dramatically over the last few years, as SUVs/CUVs are growing in popularity. Larger rim diameter tires are performing well as a result of this shift,” said Nathan Shipley, automotive industry analyst at NPD.

Looking at the broader picture through NPD’s retail tire tracking service, U.S. replacement tire sales have grown by 3% over the past year, NPD says. Unit sales have grown even faster, up 4.5%.

Passenger car and light truck tires make up the largest segment of the market with unit sales in this segment up 4% in the U.S. year-over-year.

“The fundamentals of the automotive industry couldn’t be stronger. Miles driven annually is currently at its highest level; more drivers and vehicles are on the road than ever before; and the unemployment rate has been trending at historical lows, meaning consumers are driving to work. All of these things point to a very healthy automotive industry, which includes the tires business,” said Shipley.

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