Tires - US - November 2014
“The US tires market struggles to remain relevant to most consumers, and younger consumers in particular. This pattern of disregard for tires contributes to a vicious cycle in which tires of younger drivers need to be replaced more frequently and their confidence in tire performance continues to dwindle. Tire manufacturers have the chance to turn these attitudes and practices upside-down with new ways to excite young consumers about finding the ideal tire for them and taking better performance of those tires to extend their lives. Getting consumers to shift their behaviors is the tire manufacturer’s best bet for garnering meaningful brand loyalty.”
– Tim Healey, Automotive Analyst
This report answers the following questions:
- Are tire manufacturers innovating in ways that matter?
- Can younger consumers be taught to pay more attention to their tires?
- What would it take to generate brand loyalty in the tires market?
Between 2009 and 2014, the US retail tires market added a record $9.01 billion in sales. This remarkable growth was driven mostly by pent-up, recovery-induced demand, rising material costs, causing an increase in the retail sales price of tires, and different purchasing patterns for tires among Millennials, some of whom entered the automobile market on their own during this period.
Between 2014 and 2019, Mintel estimates that sales will increase, as the market will be free of the exogenous shocks that spurred growth over the last five years. However, the market is poised for even more rapid growth if manufacturers, marketers, and retailers can find new ways to motivate consumers to think about their tires. Differentiated brand messaging, more consumer education on the importance of tire maintenance and choosing the right tire for one’s vehicle to begin with, and better distribution of tire brands in independent retailers throughout the country can help individual brands outperform the market in the years to come.
For the purpose of this report, Mintel uses the following definitions:
As defined by this report, the replacement tire market are those sold for passenger cars and light trucks, including all subcompact, compact, midsized, or full-sized sedans, hatchbacks, or convertibles; compact, midsized, or full-sized truck-based SUVs; compact, midsized, or full-sized car-based crossovers; minivans or MPVs; compact, midsized, or full-sized pickup trucks or vans; any type of hybrid electric, electric, or alternatively fueled vehicle; any type of luxury vehicle; any type of classic car; or any variation above, so long as it’s for noncommercial use.
This report excludes the following:
- Rims and wheels
- Used and retreaded tires
- Tires sold for public service vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and nontravel-related vehicles including race cars, go-carts, buses, planes, trailers, race cars, golf carts, commercial hauling trucks and vans, and building construction vehicles.
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