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European tire market down in first quarter, ETRMA

BRUSSELS—Replacement market sales were down across the board in the first quarter of 2013, according to the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association.

The sharpest decreases were in the consumer and motorcycle tire markets, the ETRMA said. Consumer tire sales fell 12 percent compared with the first quarter of 2012, to 45.6 million from 53.2 million. Motorcycle tire sales dropped 13 percent, to 2.7 million from 3.1 million, the association said.

Agricultural tire sales were also significantly lower—down 8 percent to 463,000 from 504,000. Truck tires, on the other hand, fell only 1 percent, to 1.88 million from 1.9 million.

The ETRMA blamed the soft market on European economic conditions and on the harsh 2012-2013 winter, which delayed the switch from winter to summer tires. The European tire industry, however, expects summer tire sales to be slightly ahead of the same period last year.

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