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The Power of Performance Tires: Despite all the Changes in the Market, Tire Dealers Continue to Steer Brand Choice

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The Power of Performance Tires: Despite all the Changes in the Market, Tire Dealers Continue to Steer Brand Choice

In the last 20 years performance tires have gotten bigger, faster, more expensive, and more important to your bottom line.

Since 1996 the number of performance tires in the domestic replacement market has increased 391%, from 15.7 million tires to 77.1 million in 2015.

At the time, those 15.7 million tires represented 9% of the domestic replacement passenger tire market. Twenty years later, the 77.1 million performance tires make up 37.7% of the overall market.

The steady climb of performance tires is documented in Modern Tire Dealer surveys over the years.

In 1992 the spread of wheel sizes for performance tires spanned 13- to 17-inches. Six years later, 18-, 19-, and 20-inch tires first entered the landscape, and collectively represented just 4% of all performance tires (see below).

The 13- and 14-inch sizes held more than a third of the performance tire market in 1992. By 2013, the small tires’ share had fallen to 2%.

The smaller sizes became obsolete as tires and wheels grew larger. The 18-, 19-, and 20-inch sizes took the place of those 13- and 14-inch sizes, growing from 4% in 1998 to 32% in the 2013 survey.

There is one thing that hasn’t changed much. Tire dealers have always been a significant factor in how consumers choose which brand of performance tire to buy.

MTD’s exclusive surveys show dealers have had a steady influence in helping consumers pick a brand. In 1992 32% of consumers specified a brand and bought that brand.

More than 20 years later, that number has fallen to 25%, meaning tire dealers influence the brand choice in three out of four performance tire purchases.   ■

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