Dealers must play a role in NHTSA's consumer education research

Mike Manges
Posted on October 8, 2010

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing several methods of collecting feedback that will help it develop a consumer education program for tire buyers. I hope tire dealers are included in this process.

In early September, NHTSA revealed that it wants to conduct what it calls "two research phases." The first phase will include two focus groups in three cities. That doesn't bother me.

However, what worries me is the second phase of the project, which will entail "on-site interviews at various tire retailers," according to NHTSA officials. "NHTSA anticipates 25 respondents with each interview taking 25 minutes for a total of approximately 11 participant hours."

My question is, "Interviews with whom? Tire buyers? Tire dealers?"

Talking with tire buyers is fine, since they are the people who would supposedly benefit from a public education program.  But NHTSA absolutely needs to collect feedback from tire dealers if it hopes to craft an effective campaign. The onus to translate and transmit government-collected data about fuel efficiency, traction and other things will fall on the shoulders of dealers.

They are the folks on the "front lines" and make no mistake, they will be barraged with all kinds of questions from consumers about the government's tire fuel efficiency rankings.

Sure, the customer's voice needs to be heard, but in this case, dealers must take precedence. After all, Modern Tire Dealer research indicates that independent tire dealers influence the retail tire purchase at least 70% of the time. Here's hoping NHTSA gives dealers their due.

Related Topics: consumer tires, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, retail, tire education

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Hunter Engineering Co. has earned its 300th U.S. patent for undercar service equipment.

Hunter Engineering Earns 300th Patent

Hunter Engineering Co. has earned its 300th United States patent, making it the first company in the undercar equipment industry to reach this milestone, according to Hunter officials.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!