Tire manufacturers have achieved a greater level of customer satisfaction as compared to previous years. The overall customer satisfaction with original equipment tires reached an all-time high in 2020, according to the recently released J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study. It seems that tire makers have managed to attain just the right balance when it comes to performance characteristics, without resorting to any tradeoffs that might compromise customer experience. Tire makers have in fact been steadily able to raise the levels of customer satisfaction over the past five years, with satisfaction rates climbing progressively.
The JD Power study which is done every year assessed the satisfaction of tire owners based on four parameters (in order of importance): tire wear; tire ride; tire traction/handling; and tire appearance. Tires were assessed for three vehicle segments: luxury; passenger car; and truck/utility.
Commenting on the findings of the study, Brent Gruber, senior director of automotive quality practice at J.D. Power said that as tire technology improved over the years, tire manufacturers have become adept at incorporating technological advances in tires in a way that maximized overall tire performance. He said that there were significant trade-offs in tire performance in past years. For example, tires that were optimized for wear did not perform particularly well when it came to parameters like handling and traction. That has changed now and the data collected by JD Power indicated that many manufacturers are now making tires that are capable of excelling in all areas.
Michelin was the topper in two vehicle segments, with a score of 778 in luxury and 746 in truck/utility (on a 1,000-point scale). Pirelli was the other frontrunner with the highest score of 788 in the passenger car category.
The 2020 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study covered 26,131 owners of 2018 and 2019 model-year vehicles and was based on their responses. The survey was conducted from October through December 2019.
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