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Young consumers not brand loyal when it comes to tires

Gens X and Y more likely to consider smaller non-traditional tire brands

Published: April 12, 2016, 7:10 AM
Updated: April 18, 2016, 12:01 PM

Young man with tires

Tire manufacturers are facing the same lack of loyalty that struck the automobile industry a few decades ago. Younger consumers are more willing to switch brands than those of earlier generations.

A new survey from J D Power shows these younger consumers are more receptive to less established tire brands.

The 2016 J D Power U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Survey found the major brands – BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin continue to have the highest retention rate among all generations.

But the survey found that members of Gen X (born between 1965-76) and Gen Y (1997-94) are more likely to consider smaller non-traditional brands or those new to the U.S. such as Cooper, Hankook and Pirelli when replacing their original equipment rubber. 

Fully 70% of these buyers switched brands when replacing two or more tires. These buyers.

“Gen X and Gen Y are more receptive to the lesser-known brands in large part because those manufacturers have focused their marketing efforts on younger consumers,” says Brent Gruber, director, global automotive division at J.D. Power.

He suggested that manufacturers cannot continue to ignore these consumers because more than 75% of the 300 million tires sold in the U.S. annual are replacement units and these people buy more than half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S.