While overall satisfaction for the tire industry is at an all-time high, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken their toll, according to the 2021 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power in Troy.
Vehicle owners have reduced the amount of driving and delayed visits for maintenance or tire replacement over the last year, according to the study, which measures tire owner satisfaction in four key areas: tire wear, tire ride, tire traction and handling, and tire appearance, listed in order of importance.
Rankings are included in four vehicle segments: luxury, passenger car, performance sport, and truck and utility. The study provides insight into new-vehicle owners’ satisfaction with their original equipment tires after one and two years in service.
“The events of the past year have forced many consumers to change their routines, from delaying medical care to reducing their regular vehicle maintenance,” says Brent Gruber, senior director of automotive quality at J.D. Power. “Just as it is important to stay on top of personal health during the pandemic, it is also important that vehicle owners keep up with necessary automotive care, including tires.”
The findings show that 13 percent fewer miles were driven during the past year, and tire rotations and pressure checks saw similar rates of decline. Owners also delayed replacing their original equipment tires, with the study indicating a 23 percent decline in replacement rates.
“While less driving may have helped reduce tire wear and increased the time to replacement, many owners also put off much needed maintenance or tire replacement,” Gruber says. “This is similar to a trend seen among electric vehicle owners in which lower maintenance needs are keeping people away from service facilities.
“This is a concern for tire manufacturers and retailers alike. Tire manufacturers can help boost sales and get people back to service facilities by implementing better visual wear indicators and increasing tire safety communications.”
Michelin ranks highest in all four segments, with an overall satisfaction score of 782 on a 1,000-point scale in the luxury segment, 752 in passenger car, 789 in performance sport, and 771 in truck and utility.
In the luxury segment, Pirelli was ranked second with a score of 760. The segment average was 750.
Goodyear took second place in the passenger car segment with a score of 739, followed by Kumho with 736. The segment average was 721.
In the performance sport segment, Michelin was followed by Goodyear with a score of 761. The segment average was 731.
Bridgestone was ranked second in the truck and utility segment with a score of 737, followed by Hankook with a score of 712. The segment average was 711.
The study was based on responses from 26,131 owners of 2018 and 2019 model-year vehicles and was fielded from October through December 2020. More information on the study is available here.
J.D. Power offers consumer insights, advisory services, and data and analytics. It uses big data, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior. It has offices in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.