Tustin, California — The Michelin and Pirelli brands earned top recognition in AutoPacific Inc.'s 2017 Replacement Tire Owners Satisfaction Awards, based on responses from 7,000-plus consumers.
This was the seventh consecutive year that AutoPacific, a Detroit-based automotive marketing research and product consulting firm, has given out the awards.
AutoPacific's awards measure owner satisfaction with attributes ranging from performance and traction to fuel efficiency and price, the company said.
The satisfaction scores, which are weighted by the importance rating for each attribute, communicate how well each tire brand performs to the needs and expectations of its owners.
"Most consumers place high importance on safety, durability/reliability and performance, which means it's essential that tire manufacturers receive high satisfaction scores in these areas to have a chance at a top spot," AutoPacific president George Peterson said.
Other attributes of high importance found to strongly affect scores are wet and dry traction and warranty.
"Satisfaction scores begin to fluctuate more between brands for traction and warranty attributes, widening the gap between top and bottom performers," he added.
Michelin and Pirelli reclaimed the top two spots after being edged out last year by Goodyear and Bridgestone, AutoPacific said. Bridgestone and Goodyear were third and fourth this year, the company said.
Uniroyal, Yokohama and Nitto had the biggest improvement in rankings compared to 2016, while GT Radial, Nexen and Continental had the biggest drop, AutoPacific said.
The list of winners is as follows:
Overall winner: Michelin
Car replacement brand: Michelin
Light truck replacement brand: Pirelli
Luxury car: Continental
Large car: Michelin
Mid-size car: Michelin
Compact car: Pirelli
Sport/sporty car: Michelin
Compact/mid-size SUV: BFGoodrich
Compact/mid-size XSUV: Pirelli
Large/luxury SUV: BFGoodrich
Large/luxury XSUV: Pirelli
Full-size pickup: BFGoodrich
AutoPacific judged the 2017 awards based on responses from 7,047 replacement tire buyers, it said.
Study data also identified several tire attributes, including sporty image, maintenance-free and good cornering, have increased in importance over the past three years.
"It's important that tire manufacturers are aware of what their customers are looking for when they shop for replacement tires," Peterson said. "Demands and expectations can change over time. Increases in importance can be detrimental to a brand if they are not addressing it in their design and production strategy."