U.S. drivers are more satisfied with their car tires than ever before, and no tire maker gets higher marks than Michelin.
The company swept all four of the top awards in J.D. Power’s 2021 Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study. It took first place for overall customer satisfaction in the luxury, passenger car, performance sport and truck/utility categories.
In compiling its rankings, J.D. Power looks at tire owners’ satisfaction in four areas. In order of importance, they are tire wear, tire ride, tire traction/handling and tire appearance. More than 26,000 owners of new cars from the 2018 or 2019 model year participated in the 2021 survey.
The average overall customer satisfaction score in the luxury category was 750 out of 1,000 points, with two brands earning above-average scores:
- Michelin: 782
- Pirelli: 760
Goodyear, Bridgestone and Continental earned below-average scores in this category.
Passenger car tires
The average customer satisfaction score in the passenger car category was 721, with five brands earning higher scores:
- Michelin: 752
- Goodyear: 739
- Kumho: 736
- Continental: 726
- Firestone: 725
Eight brands ranked below average in this category.
Performance sport tires
The average score in the performance sport category was 731, with two brands earning well-above-average higher scores:
- Michelin: 789
- Goodyear: 760
Pirelli and Bridgestone ranked below average in this category.
The average score in the truck/utility category was 711, with three brands earning higher scores:
- Michelin: 771
- Bridgestone: 737
- Hankook: 712
Goodyear, Continental and Firestone ranked below average in the truck/utility category.
Driver satisfaction with the tire industry overall is at an all-time high, J.D. Power says. However, the survey found that because of the coronavirus pandemic, drivers have both cut back on driving and delayed visits for maintenance or tire replacement.
The study found that drivers logged 13% fewer miles during the past year. Tire rotations and pressure checks recorded similar drops.
In addition, there was a 23% decline among car owners in replacing their original tires.
In a press release, Brent Gruber, senior director of automotive quality at J.D. Power, said some worrying trends are starting to emerge for the auto industry:
“While less driving may have helped reduce tire wear and increased the time to replacement, many owners also put off much needed maintenance or tire replacement. This is similar to a trend seen among electric vehicle owners in which lower maintenance needs are keeping people away from service facilities. This is a concern for tire manufacturers and retailers alike.”
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