Michelin has unveiled first quarter net sales of EUR5.1bn (US$5.8bn), with volumes up 3.7%, increasing 4% for passenger car and light truck tyres, 3% for truck tyres and remaining stable (0%) for speciality businesses.
The French tyre manufacturer reported mixed demand in new markets, with strong passenger car and light truck tyre demand in China, buoyant sales in India and a marked decline in South America.
For 2016, tyre markets are forecast to remain mixed, with demand for passenger car, light truck and lorry tyres expected to continue rising in mature markets while staying in line with 2015 trends in new markets.
The speciality tyres market is expected to continue to be affected by mining company inventory draw-downs.
Speciality markets however, are still affected by ending inventory draw-downs at mining companies.
In this environment, for 2016, Michelin is targeting volume growth, which outpaces global markets and confirms its objectives to increase operating income before non-recurring items at constant exchange rates and generate structural free cash flow of more than EUR800m.