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MTD Facts Issue: Pricing Marked By ‘Flight to Value’

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According to The Fitment Group, the most significant retail tire price increases occurred in the East South-Central region - which includes Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama - at the opening price point and fourth tier levels.

 

Perhaps the most significant retail tire pricing trend observed during 2020 was the “flight to value” made by consumers who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This dynamic remained as 2020 drew to a close, placing a capstone on a year in which prices across all tiers climbed upwards.

“Over the course of 2020, we have seen tire prices across all steps trend upward slightly,” J.P. Brooks, director of business development for The Fitment Group, said in MTD’s 2021 Facts Issue.

The Fitment Group collects and analyzes more than eight million individual retail tire prices each week.

“We found that the East South-Central market - which includes Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama - saw the most significant price increase” at the opening price point and fourth tier levels, specifically in size 225/65R17. 

“This market also trended to the higher end of advertised prices across all tiers of this specific size,” he noted.

During 2020, average prices increased moving eastward from the west coast, “with some of the highest average pricing residing in the New England market,” revealed Brooks.

The most dramatic price fluctuations happened in May, according to Fitment Group research.

“We did see a small dip in pricing in the months of August and September, followed by a rebound in October.”

Here’s a look at passenger and light truck average advertised prices near the end of the year - major brand, low-cost brand and overall:

Size

Major Brand

Low-Cost Brand

Overall

235/60R14

$160.38

$115.77

$138.45

235/75R15

$153.20

$88.46

$124.20

205/55R16

$136.32

$68.81

$120.57

215/60R16

$123.93

$72.71

$111.18

215/55R17

$157.38

$78.89

$134.34

275/65R18

$236.10

$146.79

$215.21

LT225/75R16

$190.17

$109.54

$163.49

LT245/75R16

$207.27

$124.58

$180.30

LT245/75R17

$228.03

$137.46

$198.29

31X10.5R15

$190.51

$138.75

$169.82

*Source: The Fitment Group (www.fitmentgroup.com)

The following major brand sizes listed above saw year-over-year price increases: 235/60R14, 235/75R15, 205/55R16, 215/60R16, 275/65R17, LT225/75R16, LT245/75R16 and LT245/75R17. The following major brand sizes were priced lower, 2020 versus 2019: 215/55R17 and 31x10.50R15.

MTD’s 2021 Facts Issue, available here, also provides in-depth pricing information by U.S. region, speed rating and other metrics. In addition, the issue provides a detailed look at pricing across numerous e-commerce portals, including several that are operated by independent tire dealerships.

The MTD Facts Issue also includes a deep dive into U.S. passenger, light truck and medium truck tire shipments and market share; sales; distribution; tire sizing; North America tire plant capacities; mergers and acquisitions; automotive service; and more.


 

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