Analyst Nick Mitchell follows more than just results from publicly traded tire and automotive companies for Northcoast Research Holdings LLC. He also tracks tire pricing and demand by tier.
When asked how the tire tiers fared against each other last year, Mitchell said Tier 2 and Tier 3 brands outperformed Tier 1 brands through the first 10 months of the year based on unit growth. We agree, and the market share changes in the charts compared to 2016 reflect that.
Modern Tire Dealer divides the market into four tiers because we feel there are often more than three price points in the marketplace. We define Tier 1 tires as the three anchor brands: Michelin, Bridgestone and Goodyear. Upper- and middle-market brands like Continental, Pirelli, Hankook, Yokohama, Toyo, Falken, Kumho, Dunlop, Nexen, Cooper, Firestone, BFGoodrich and General fall into the Tier 2 category.
Value brands, such as private brands, are Tier 3 tires. And low-cost radials — in general many of the imports from China — are Tier 4 brands.