TireNews September / October 2017
The September / October issue of TireNews is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of TireNews, Jack Kazmierski.
One of the privileges of sitting in the editor’s chair for TireNews is the access to information about new products. Every single day I weed through tens of dozens of news releases about the latest and greatest innovations in our industry… and I’m seeing an interesting trend.
It would seem that a growing number of manufacturers are jumping on the all-weather tire bandwagon. Last month alone, I think I received close to half a dozen announcements about one company or another introducing an all-weather tire to the Canadian market.
And it would seem that those companies that haven’t yet announced an all-weather tire will do so soon. I spoke with the president of one of the major brands recently and asked him if his company is planning to jump on the all-weather bandwagon. He said his engineers are working on it, and that we’ll see something very soon. Then he added that he doesn’t think the all-weather tire is ideal for all Canadian locations, but that he understands why consumers are attracted to it.
Most industry experts agree. All-weather tires are a compromise. They’re neither as good as winter tires in the winter, nor as good as summer tires in the other three seasons. They offer a compromise that many consumers find attractive.
In fact, all-weather tires are what all-season tires should have been in the first place. They perform well in all seasons, saving vehicle owners the hassle of having to swap out their tires in the spring and fall.
And that brings us to the core of the matter. If you’re going to be selling all-weather tires to your customers, how will that impact your business? You’ll still be making money when selling and installing a set, but you’ll likely not see that same customer for another couple of years.
They won’t be back every few months for the changeover, which means they won’t give you an opportunity to sell them an alignment or to check under the hood to see what else their vehicle needs fixed or maintained.
And if we see a mass exodus out of the winter/summer tire tradition, will you still offer tire storage? More importantly, will that same customer be compelled to come back to you for the next set of tires?
It seems to me that these all-weather tires are going to change the dynamic between consumer and tire retailer. The latter will have to come up with innovative ways to attract and retain customers in order to keep the bays humming.
Don’t wait. Plan ahead. The all-weather tire phenomenon is coming your way, soon.