Akron, Ohio -- The US-Based Consumer Reports (CR) magazine is stepping up efforts to provide its readers with more and better information on tyres, representatives said during a presentation at the 2008 International Tire Exhibition and Conference (ITEC).
The consumer watchdog publication, which publishes an issue focusing on tyres each year, will alter its cycle this year and combine tyre segments to provide consumers with more tire information at a faster rate, CR tyre tester Eugene Peterson said.
â€œâ€¦(W)e used to be on a four or five year cycle, meaning one year we would test all-season tyres, next year performance tyres, the year after that (sport-utility vehicle) tyres and there might be winter tyres before we came back to all-season again,â€ he said. â€œWith that in mind, it was way too long. We weren't providing up-to-date information for our readers and we decided that we really needed to narrow down that cycle.â€
The magazine's new issue, available in November, will focus on all-season, all-terrain and winter SUV and pickup truck tyres in the start of a three-year production cycle. Next year the publication will test all-season and winter passenger tyres of various speed ratings, and the following year it will test ultra-high performance tyres before starting the cycle again.
CR has made these changes largely in response to consumer questions and concerns. Within the last year alone, the publication has receive more than 1,250 tyre-related letters from readers, and the word â€œtyresâ€ has become one of the most popular search terms on its Web site, second only to â€œGPS,â€ Mr. Peterson said.
During the ITEC presentation, Mr. Peterson also addressed a number of issues on the minds on consumers, such as the 2/32-inch versus 4/32-inch tread depth debate, confusion over treadwear evaluations and concern about new tyre technology like run-flat tyres and tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS).
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)