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Replacement Tires

Fleets are being impacted by a variety of inflationary pressures ranging from higher acquisition prices due to the proliferation of onboard safety equipment, to increased material costs pushing up pricing on parts, upfits, and replacement tires.

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Operating Costs Flat for Third Consecutive Year

Calendar-year 2015 marks the third consecutive year that fleet operating costs have remained stable compared to the past three years, primarily due to the continuing softness in gasoline and diesel prices. Replacement tires, the second highest operating cost, were stable due to the ongoing softness in commodity prices, primarily rubber and oil, while increased maintenance intervals contributed to lower maintenance costs for fleets. The forecast is more of the same for CY-2016.

Impact of Chinese Truck Tires on Fleet Aftermarket

One factor driving the deluge of Chinese exports of replacement truck tires to the U.S. is China's immense tire production overcapacity. In 2015, China manufactured 120 million tires, with an overcapacity rate of almost 25 percent. The influx of Chinese truck tires is also having a detrimental effect on the tire retreading industry, because many of these “bargain” tires have only one life because they cannot be retreaded.

Top 15 Fleet Maintenance Trends in 2013 & Beyond

Vehicle quality continues to improve and extended powertrain warranties have covered some expensive repairs, which occur at higher mileage. Although quality has increased, vehicles are becoming more complex, especially with the proliferation of new onboard technologies. In this context, what follows are the top 15 maintenance trends for passenger cars that are facing commercial fleet managers in 2013 and beyond.

Higher Raw Material Costs Put Upward Pressure on Replacement Tire Prices

Retail transaction prices for light-truck replacement tire were up 12.5% in 2010, and 11% for the passenger car segment. Although retail tire prices increased, replacement tire pricing for commercial fleets remained relatively flat because of pre-existing national account pricing agreements. However, it would be short-sighted to believe national account vendors will indefinitely absorb tire cost increases without passing them on to their fleet customers.

Fleet Predictions for the 2010 Calendar-Year

Barring the occurrence of unforeseen calamities beyond our control, here are my predictions as to how current fleet industry trend lines will play out in the next 12 months.

Top 6 Fleet Trends in the Medium-Duty Truck Market

Six key trends will determine Class 3-7 medium-duty truck lifecycle costs in the 2010 calendar-year. They are diesel prices, acquisition costs, resale, maintenance costs, replacement tire expense, and environmental regulatory requirements. Here is a forecast of what to expect.

Replacement Tires: A Growing Fleet Expense

Replacement tires are the third-largest expense category for fleets. In the past three years, this expense category has grown as a result of multiple price increases from all major tire OEMs. In 2008, year-to-date tire replacement costs have increased 4-10 percent. This follows a 3-4 percent price increase in 2007 and an 8-10 percent price increase in 2006. The consensus is replacement tire prices will increase again in 2009.