The Fastest Growing Tire Category in Canada

Posted on November 19, 2019

Three out of four Canadian motorists are using winter tires, and the vast majority of those winter tire owners are convinced their tires have saved them from a potentially hazardous driving situation.

Those are among the takeaways from the latest survey of Canadian motorists by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC). Each year TRAC polls the public on its use and perception of winter tires, and the 2019 survey shows 75% of motorists across all of Canada’s provinces are using winter tires, up from 66% in 2017, and 58% in 2014.

And that’s not just a matter of government legislation. Only one province — Quebec — requires drivers to use winter tires. Some provinces have no regulations at all; others have created financial incentives such as lower auto insurance rates and the availability of low-interest loans to buy the tires, to inspire drivers to make the twice-a-year tire switch.

Year % Drivers using winter tires
1998 35%
2014 58%
2017 66%
2019 75%

The growing popularity of winter tires has propelled the category to the fastest growing tire category in Canada — based on TRAC’s analysis of its members’ winter tire shipments across Canada. How much has it grown? 5% over the past three years.

TRAC says its members represent more than 80% of the market.

“The winter tire market in Canada continues to grow at a steady pace and our statistics continue to point to a continuous improvement in consumer understanding of winter tires as an important part of the vehicle safety equipment and a product that delivers superior performance in the harsh Canadian winter,” says Matt Livigni, managing director of Continental Tire Canada.

Here’s how the usage breaks down by province in 2019:

Location% Winter tire use
Atlantic Canada91%
British Columbia68%

TRAC also asked motorists without winter tires why they haven't purchased them. Here’s how their responses break down:

Reasons not to buy winter tires
All-season tires are good enough51%
I don’t drive much in winter18%
Too expensive17%
I have no place to store off-season tires4%
Don’t know/Prefer not to answer1%

The 2019 TRAC survey was conducted online with 1,584 Canadian motorists Sept. 27-30, 2019 by Leger, a Canadian research and polling firm. The margin of error was 2.5%.

Related Topics: retail, Snow tires, Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, winter tires

Comments ( 1 )
  • Bob Braan

     | about 22 days ago

    Winter and All Season tires are becoming obsolete. Especially for all those still running All Seasons all year. Buy All Weather tires instead. They are totally different than All Seasons and a fairly new option. No need to panic at an early snowfall and you are still on your All Seasons. BETTER than some winter tires for ice and snow, you can leave them on all year (no new rims or tire pressure sensors needed) and they are rated to last 100K km. Winter tires are only rated to last 40K km. Nokian WR G3 and Toyo Celsius are two of the best. They tested in the top half of the BEST winter tires by Consumer Reports. They have the winter tire mountain snowflake symbol.The cost of changing tires twice a year and storage can equal the tire cost over the life of the tire.Many Winter tires are really bad on wet pavement. All Weather are excellent on wet pavement. Audi put All Weathers instead of All Seasons on their new Q8. Most people will find it's awesome in the snow compared to All Seasons and not bother with Winter tires anymore. Consumer report review "Innovative Toyo Winter Tire Can Stay on Your Car Year-Round" Video explaining the differences For Global News video search "Fall & winter tire safety ". Search YouTube for "Tip of the Week: All Weather Tires".

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