Winter Tires: A “Brutal” Winter?

“Environment Canada expects this winter to return to the normal pattern of Canada.”

“Environment Canada expects this winter to return to the normal pattern of Canada.”

Winter 2012 is around the corner…Are you ready?

Earlier this year I discussed “The Winter that Wasn’t” – winter 2011 and the opportunities that it presented for winter 2012. Now that winter 2012 is fast approaching, October and November are going to be your peak selling months.

On August 16th of this year, the Toronto Star published an article with some interesting predictions, opening with the comment “Winter is still five months away, but one thing is almost certain — it’s not going to be like last year.”

In this article, Environment Canada Senior Climatologist, David Phillips, stated, “This will be a tougher winter for Torontonians. It will feel brutal compared to last year.” This statement shows that Environment Canada expects this winter to return to the normal pattern of Canada, complete with freezing rain, slush, and snow. The point is, winter 2012 is not going to be a repeat of winter 2011.

What does this mean for you, the Tire Retailer? Quite simply, it means you should have more opportunities to sell winter tires in 2012 than you did in 2011

Consumers “get it”

As I mentioned in my earlier article, winter 2011 proved that the level of consumer education about the need for winter tires is on the rise. More people “get it.” They get the fact that we’re not selling them snow tires, but winter tires. They also get the fact that it’s the temperature that’s important, not just snow.

Although most retailers experienced a challenging winter 2011, and some had disappointing sales levels, everyone still managed to sell winter tires, even though there wasn’t much snow. In fact, many of you sold hundreds of winter tires!

By now, we should all be familiar with the 7-degree rule – at temperatures of 7 degrees centigrade or lower, Summer UHP tires are beyond their operating parameters, and All Season tires have started to lose traction. Once the temperature drops below zero, the traction of All Season tires has been seriously compromised and numerous studies have shown that at these low temperatures, vehicles equipped with All Season tires take longer to stop than vehicles equipped with Winter tires.

Use Quebec stats to sell more tires

Statistics produced by the Ministry of Transportation in Quebec clearly show that since the enactment of the “Winter Tire Law”, the number of collisions on Quebec roads during the winter months have dropped significantly. Also, the number of injuries from winter collisions have gone down. These are verifiable Canadian statistics that are available to the public.

Be a smart Tire Retailer, do your research, print the statistics and keep these handy to support your winter tire sales presentations to the consumer. If you have trouble locating the statistics, then contact your Tire Wholesale Distributor (W/D) who will gladly help you with this.

Finally, you should now be ready for winter. You should have received your winter tire inventory from your W/D and this should cover the popular sizes for your store based on the sizes fitted to your clients’ cars, and market popularity.

Also, you should have your showroom displays changed over to winter tires and have all your winter tire “sales tools” ready. Be prepared to ask for the business and gain sales. Rest assured, your W/D is ready to serve you and to help you have a successful winter selling season.

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