Will Plus-​Sizing Pull in the 13% of Pickup Drivers?

The Specialty Equipment Market Association, Wheel & Tire Council and Clemson University‰Ûªs International Center for Automotive Research together set out to understand the effects of plus-​sizing ‰ÛÓ the dynamics associated with the changing of wheels, offsets, tire sidewall heights, wheel diameters and other associated modifications.

According to Modern Tire Dealer's The impact of plus-​sizing on vehicle performance dynamics article, everyday consumers ask retail tire dealers these questions:

  • ‰ÛÏWill plus-​sizing my vehicle‰Ûªs tires make my car handle better?‰Û
  • ‰ÛÏWill I get better traction?‰Û
  • ‰ÛÏWill that give me a harder ride?‰Û

So, in response to these kinds of questions, researchers selected a frequently modified vehicle ‰ÛÓ America‰Ûªs top-​selling truck, the Ford F‑150 ‰ÛÒ to study. After months of testing and evaluation at CU-ICAR‰Ûªs Greenville, SC campus, the results supported long-​standing industry beliefs.

"In many cases, shorter sidewalls did not translate into a harsher ride. The difference in harshness was less than generally understood and much less than anticipated," Wayne Williams wrote.

"The facts support the idea that customers can have it all ‰ÛÓ better handling, better directional response, better steering response, better steering firmness and road grip ‰ÛÓ without sacrificing ride comfort."

Now, with the Ride Guide that the research provided, sales associates can give consumers a definitive answer to their most common question: ‰ÛÏCan you tell me before I spend my money how tire and wheel plus-​sizing is going to affect the ride quality and handling of my vehicle?‰Û

"Those dealerships that deliver the best solutions, the most professional answers and have the ability to master the total customer experience will win both the customer and the business."

The Ride Guide and the information studied in it could provide valuable research to the 13% of pickup truck owners in America. Whether truck owners want to upgrade their current tires for better-​riding ones, or it is simply time to replace old tires, dealers can win them over by knowing more about this audience.

AudienceSCAN research found pickup truck owners/​drivers are aged 45–54 (22%) and 55–64 (21.9%). They are 79% more likely than average Americans to live in rural areas and small towns, because 42% of them do. 46% of this audience loves exploring nature, and 45% of them are fishing for sport. Most important of all, they are 48% more likely than average to buy new tires for their trucks! And that amounts to 26% of truck owners planning on purchasing tires this year.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.