CR implies too many Chinese tires lack quality

Bob Ulrich
Posted on September 23, 2014

Consumer Reports (CR) recently included Chinese tire brands in one of its tire testing projects. This was a first for the magazine.

The Chinese brands chosen finished at the bottom of the all-season P-metric light truck and SUV tire ratings. I am not here to debate that. I respect the way CR conducts its tests, having experienced the process first hand (see "The Consumer Reports report").

I do, however, detect a generality in the tone of Gene Petersen's overview of the test. CR's tire program manager, in my opinion, implied that almost all, if not all, Chinese brands don't measure up to major or known brands. I'll be the first to admit some don't.

But some do (I am reluctant to list examples of manufacturers who do make upper tier tires, like Double Coin Holdings LLC, Qingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd. and Shandong Linglong Tyre Co. Ltd., because I don't want to leave any exacting Chinese company out. So I won't mention any company.)

For context, know that Petersen tested the Geostar, Pegasus and Sunny brands in order to compare them with 17 other more well-known brands. The results from a fourth, Aeolus, were not reported because CR "couldn’t find a ready supply of tires for consumers," according to Petersen. Here is what he wrote:

"Tires are a global commodity, and many of the major brand names that Consumer Reports tests are manufactured in China. But those tires are designed and manufactured to quality standards dictated by the original manufacturers. Chinese tire brands don’t have that oversight, and some may not have the marketing foresight to design products well-suited to the specific requirements of the U.S. consumer.

"While we can’t address specific tire build quality, our all-weather tests show that these tires simply don’t measure-up to most of the well-known brands."

I talked with Petersen, and he admitted that his conclusions are based on his results, which include the buying of the tires. He added that he thinks Chinese manufacturing will follow the historical trend of Japanese and Korean brand tires, which were disrespected at first but eventually became good values in the eyes of the consumer. 

To read what Petersen wrote, click here.

What do you think? Is everything he said true? Is "buying bargain-priced tires such as (Geostar, Pegasus and Sunny) the wrong choice in the long haul, as Petersen says?

Or do you detect an undeserved lack of respect for Chinese brands? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!

Related Topics: Chinese imports, Consumer Reports, Gene Petersen

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 10 )
  • See all comments
  •  | about 5 years ago

    The term "quality" is a vague one at best. In context to what? A Michelin, Bridgestone or Continental? Yes, but that could be said about the majority of tires on the market. Does quality imply "safety". To some yes to others no. How often have we heard it said by our customers, male or female, husband, wife or parent- I don't care what you put on the car because it's for my wife( or husband, or child). Those are the customers looking for a value tire and the big manufacturers have allowed the Chinese to claim that market. So my experience has been they are a good, safe value for some of our customers. Won't ride the best or stop the quickest but a safe product our customer can afford AT THAT TIME.

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