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US Tires market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Tires market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel focuses on the replacement tire market, and has used the following definitions:

The replacement tire market are that sold for passenger cars and light trucks, including all subcompact, compact, midsized, or fullsized sedans, hatchbacks, or convertibles; compact, midsized, or full-sized truck-based SUVs; compact, midsized, or full-sized car-based crossovers; minivans or MPVs (multipurpose vehicle); 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, golf carts, commercial hauling trucks and vans, and building construction vehicles.

This Report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Tires – US, November 2016, November 2015, and November 2014, as well as Tires and Rims – US, March 2013 and December 2011.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Buddy Lo, a leading analyst in the Automotive sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Tires, the only objects that touch the ground on a vehicle, play an extremely important role in vehicle ownership. A typical tire lasts around 30-40 thousand miles, or three to four years depending on how much driving a car owner does. Accounting for the occasional flat or punctured tire, a car owner will typically purchase a new set of tires three to four times in a 10-year ownership time span. The tire market is extremely competitive with well over 20 brands vying for consumer dollars. The challenge for brands is to remain top of mind in a long purchase cycle category. Buddy Lo
Automotive Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The issues
            • Six in 10 car owners don’t actively think about their tires
              • Figure 1: Attitudes toward tires, September 2017
            • Less than half of tire buyers can tell when they need to replace their tires
              • Figure 2: Tire maintenance behavior, September 2017
            • Four in 10 car owners don’t know the brand of tires on their cars right now
              • Figure 3: Current tire brand awareness, September 2017
            • The opportunities
              • Replacement tire revenue expected to grow
                • Figure 4: Total US retail sales and forecast of replacement tires, at current prices, 2012-2022
              • Four of five vehicle owners agree it is worth it to have a professional change the tires
                • Figure 5: Attitudes toward tires, September 2017
              • Tire shoppers are very receptive to price incentives
                • Figure 6: Attitudes toward tires, September 2017
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Replacement tire market forecasted for growth
                  • Gas prices remain low for US drivers
                    • Low unemployment and high consumer confidence spurs maintenance spending
                      • Americans are driving more than ever
                        • Average age of vehicles increasing
                        • Market Size and Forecast

                          • Replacement tire revenue expected to grow
                            • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of replacement tires, at current prices, 2012-22
                            • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of replacement tires, at current prices, 2012-22
                        • Market Breakdown

                          • Passenger tire sales dwarf light truck tire sales
                            • Figure 9: Replacement tire breakdown, by segment, 2016
                          • Independent retailers are the primary retail channel
                            • Figure 10: Total US retail sales of replacement tires, by channel, 2016, 2014, 2012
                        • Market Perspective

                          • Light truck sales growth will spur light truck tires moving forward
                            • Figure 11: Total US unit sales and forecast of new passenger cars and new light trucks, by segment, 2012-22
                        • Market Factors

                          • Gas prices remain low for US car owners
                            • Figure 12: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-September 2017
                          • Low unemployment and high confidence should spur maintenance spending
                            • Figure 13: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-September 2017
                          • Record number of vehicle miles traveled by Americans in 2016
                            • Figure 14: Vehicle miles traveled, 2000-2016
                          • Tariffs reduce low cost imports from China
                            • Figure 15: US consumer tire imports from China, 2004-2016
                          • Average age of vehicles on the road increasing
                            • Figure 16: Average age of light vehicles in the US, 1995-2016
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Goodyear continues to lead in both passenger and light truck segments
                            • Smaller brands struggle to grow market share
                              • Tires on the cloud
                              • Company and Brand Sales of Replacement Tires

                                • Goodyear Tires retain top market share in both passenger and light truck tires
                                  • Replacement tire segment extremely fragmented
                                    • Figure 17: Replacement passenger car tire sales market share, by brand, 2015 - 2016
                                    • Figure 18: Replacement light truck tire sales market share, by brand, 2015 - 2016
                                    • Figure 19: Dunlop online display ad, January 2017
                                • What’s Rolling?

                                  • Goodyear Tires retain top spot in both passenger and light truck tires
                                    • Figure 20: Goodyear online display ad, October 2017
                                    • Figure 21: Goodyear online mobile display ad, August 2017
                                    • Figure 22: Goodyear acquisition email, September 2017
                                    • Figure 23: Goodyear tire and store locator landing page, September 2017
                                • What’s Flat?

                                  • Smaller brands not growing market share
                                  • What’s Around the Turn?

                                    • Smart-tires driving on the cloud
                                      • Color-accented tires add style and flair for car owners
                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                        • Four in 10 car owners don’t know the tire brand on their current cars
                                          • Online tire purchases remain a small segment of total sales
                                            • Cost is the top reason behind choosing a tire retailer
                                              • Less than half of tire buyers can tell when they need to replace their tires
                                                • Few car owners say they cheap out on tires
                                                  • Car owners see value in professional installation
                                                  • Most Recent Tire Purchase

                                                    • Majority of car owners have purchased tires within the past three years
                                                      • Figure 24: Most recent tire purchase, September 2017
                                                    • Fathers most likely to have purchased tires
                                                      • Figure 25: Most recent tire purchase, by gender and parental status, September 2017
                                                  • Current Tire Brand Awareness

                                                    • Nearly four in 10 car owners don’t know the tire brand on their cars
                                                      • Figure 26: Current tire brand awareness, September 2017
                                                    • Men more likely than women to know their current tire brand
                                                      • Figure 27: Current tire brand awareness, by gender, September 2017
                                                  • Purchase Location

                                                    • Car owners are buying tires from a wide variety of sources
                                                      • Figure 28: Purchase location, September 2017
                                                    • Walmart continues its success among younger car owners
                                                      • Figure 29: Purchase location, September 2017
                                                  • Purchase Reasons

                                                    • Cost tops reasons for choosing a specific tire retailer
                                                      • Figure 30: Purchase reasons, September 2017
                                                    • Warehouse clubs, Walmart, and Discount Tire chosen for their pricing
                                                      • Figure 31: Purchase reasons, by purchase location, September 2017
                                                    • Older shoppers value trust and familiarity
                                                      • Figure 32: Purchase reasons, by age, September 2017
                                                    • Online reviews valued by younger shoppers
                                                      • Figure 33: Purchase reasons, by generation, September 2017
                                                  • Tire Maintenance Behavior

                                                    • Less than half of tire shoppers can tell when to replace their tires
                                                      • Figure 34: Tire maintenance behavior, September 2017
                                                    • Millennials and Gen-Xers utilizing online resources most
                                                      • Figure 35: Tire maintenance behavior, by generation, September 2017
                                                  • Attitudes toward Tires

                                                    • Car owners see value in a professional installation
                                                      • Figure 36: Attitudes toward tires, September 2017
                                                    • Perceived value of run-flat tires increased from 2016
                                                      • Figure 37: Attitudes toward tires, August 2016 – September 207
                                                    • Women less likely to proactively think about their tires
                                                      • Figure 38: Attitudes toward tires, by gender, September 2017
                                                  • Cluster Analysis

                                                      • Figure 39: Tire shopper segments, September 2017
                                                    • Trust Buyers
                                                      • Characteristics
                                                        • Figure 40: Profile of Trust Buyers, September 2017
                                                      • Opportunities
                                                        • Figure 41: Attitudes toward tires, by clusters, September 2017
                                                      • Deal Hunters
                                                        • Characteristics
                                                          • Figure 42: Profile of Deal Hunters, September 2017
                                                        • Opportunities
                                                          • Figure 43: Attitudes toward tires, by clusters, September 2017
                                                        • Budget Tire Shoppers
                                                          • Characteristics
                                                            • Figure 44: Profile of Budget Tire Shoppers, September 2017
                                                          • Opportunities
                                                            • Figure 45: Attitudes toward tires, by clusters, September 2017
                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                          • Data sources
                                                            • Sales data
                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                  • Direct marketing creative
                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                        • Terms