Yes, there really is a market for green tires

June 18, 2015

When a consumer walks in the door of your dealership prepared to buy a set of tires, he or she might come armed with a checklist of qualities those new tires need to satisfy. Is green technology anywhere on that list? Plenty of Modern Tire Dealer readers say no.

John Jindra Jr., store manager of Quality Tire Service in Johnsburg, Ill. is among the dealers still looking for green tire customers.

“Over all the tires that we sell, I could count on my hand in the last 10 years how many people have come in and asked for a tire with green technology. I’ve been in the industry my whole life. People today aren’t really buying the green technology. They’re basically looking out for their dollars. How long does it wear? How does it handle?”

Jindra is among the dealers who responded to a MTD survey on green tires in 2014. In that survey 58% of dealers said tires that tout low rolling resistance and other fuel-savings perks amount to just 5% of their consumer tire sales.

Despite green tires playing such a small role in those dealers’ business, Jindra and many others had plenty to say about the products. Among the choice words dealers used to describe green tires: “hype,” “slow movers,” “not popular” and “another stupid government mandate.”

MTD took dealers’ points back to the tire manufacturers. Read more about dealers’ concerns, and what the manufacturers had to say, in this story from our May magazine: A cloud of concerns over green tires.