AKRON, OHIO - Though dramatic price increases in raw material costs forced tire manufacturers to raise their own prices in 2008, that was not the case in 2009, according to Modern Tire Dealer.

For most of the year, raw material prices were down. Only near the end of the year did they start to go up again. And as they did, tiremakers started raising prices (see "Michelin joins many announcing price hikes").

For the year, overall prices were up about 1 percent, according to the soon-to-be published 2010 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue. Median retail pricing actually went down for two sizes tracked by MTD.

Size                    2009       2008       2007    

P205/65R15     $90.47    $91.95   $82.85

P195/75R14     $66.00    $68.97   $59.31

Advertised pricing on one of the more popular P-metric light truck and SUV sizes, P235/75R15, was relatively flat overall: up a little for major brand tires, down a little for low-cost radials (LCR).

Brand    2009         2008        % change

Major     $109.60   $108.26   +1.2%  

LCR       $71.79     $73.57      -2.4%

MTD's January Facts Issue also will look at truck tire pricing, both new and retraded.