"In the last 20 years performance tires have gotten bigger, faster, more expensive, and more important to the bottom line," Joy Kopcha writes. "Since 1996 the number of performance tires in the domestic replacement market has increased 391%, from 15.7 million tires to 77.1 million in 2015."
"At the time, those 15.7 million tires represented 9% of the domestic replacement passenger tire market. Twenty years later, the 77.1 million performance tires make up 37.7% of the overall market."
"The steady climb of performance tires is documented in Modern Tire Dealer surveys over the years," Kopcha writes.
"In 1992 the spread of wheel sizes for performance tires spanned 13- to 17-inches. Six years later, 18‑, 19‑, and 20-inch tires first entered the landscape, and collectively represented just 4% of all performance tires."
Tire dealers should feature their recommended performance tires in ads. AudienceSCAN finds television (over-the-air, online, mobile or tablet) spots will be effective with the Tire Shopper audience, because 42% took action after seeing spots in the past 30 days.
"The 13- and 14-inch sizes held more than a third of the performance tire market in 1992. By 2013, the small tires’ share had fallen to 2%."
"The smaller sizes became obsolete as tires and wheels grew larger. The 18‑, 19‑, and 20-inch sizes took the place of those 13- and 14-inch sizes, growing from 4% in 1998 to 32% in the 2013 survey."
"There is one thing that hasn’t changed much. Tire dealers have always been a significant factor in how consumers choose which brand of performance tire to buy."
Tire dealers need to use their power of influence and persuasion to educate Tire Shoppers on the best performance tires available to them. AudienceSCAN reports newspaper (print, online, mobile or tablet) advertising can prove advantageous for tire dealers. 58.5% of Tire Shoppers took action based on newspaper ads in the past year.
"MTD’s exclusive surveys show dealers have had a steady influence in helping consumers pick a brand. In 1992 32% of consumers specified a brand and bought that brand."
"More than 20 years later, that number has fallen to 25%, meaning tire dealers influence the brand choice in three out of four performance tire purchases."