Brussels – Five years of mandatory tire-labelling have done little to increase demand for safer and more fuel-efficient tires, according to the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA).
The assessment is based on the findings of a report into the effects of the labelling scheme. This found a “steady evolution” of the market but no significant increase in the uptake of higher rated tires.
The ETRMA-funded report was issued amid a review by the European Parliament and the Council into European Commission (EC) proposals for a ‘rescaling’ of the tire label.
The study, carried out by the Lizeo Group, analysed 400,000 tire labels in the EU28 between 2012 and 2017.
In 2012-13, the most common tire label for passenger car tires was rated ‘E-C’ – “E” for tolling resistance and “C” for wet grip. In 2017, this label was still the most common, at around 25% of the passenger car tire market.
Less than 0,1% of all tires are currently labelled A-A, while more than 98% of all tires are still below B-B, the study also found.
The tire label is still a “young tool” and not sufficiently well known by drivers and fleet managers, the report concluded.
The findings show that the market has yet to fully appreciate the value of tires offering the best combinations of rolling resistance and wet-grip performance, Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of ETRMA said in a 15 Oct press statement.
When reviewing the labelling scheme, therefore, the main focus should be on “what can be done to increase awareness and market up-take, before changing the grading system adding new and more ambitious classes,” urged Cinaralp.
The Lizeo Group study also discovered that about 4,000 tires were wrongly labelled – highlighting a need for greater market surveillance.
This , said ETRMA, was in-line with the findings of an EC-funded report, which found that 9% of the tire models required the application of enforcement measures.
“The results clearly indicate that any rescaling of the labelling system at this stage would be premature," said Cinaralp.
"The criteria for rescaling which are set in the [EC] ‘labelling framework regulation’ are not met and there has not been enough change at the top of the scale,” she concluded