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Tire Satisfaction Influences Dealership Service Loyalty

When customers are highly satisfied with their vehicle’s original tires, they are more likely to return to the dealership for maintenance and repair services as well as use the dealership for future service on tires. Additionally, they are more likely to be loyal to the vehicle brand at the time of their next purchase, according to the 2012 J.D. Power & Associates U.S. OE Tire Customer Satisfaction Study. Among owners who rated the quality and appeal of their vehicles as “truly exceptional” and their tires as “truly exceptional,” they were:

• More likely to say they “definitely will” return to the dealer for maintenance and repair work (89 percent vs. 82 percent a year ago);

• More likely to return to the dealer for future tire service work (44 percent vs. 32 percent); and

• More likely to say they “definitely will” re-purchase the same vehicle brand (67 percent vs. 59 percent).

“High tire satisfaction positively influences owner perceptions of their vehicle,” said Brent Gruber, senior manager of the tire practice at J.D. Power. “By choosing a better performing tire for its vehicles, not only are manufacturers in a position to build greater loyalty for their brand, but they’re also increasing the potential for future service business at dealerships.”

Overall, OE tire satisfaction increased 29 points to 686 on a 1,000-point scale. This increase is attributable to improvements across all factors: tire ride, tire traction and handling, tire wearability, and tire appearance. Tire ride and tire wearability had the largest year-over-year improvements at 30 and 29 points, respectively.

The performance sport tire segment posted the highest satisfaction scores among the four segments included in the study, increasing 38 points in 2012 to 748 points. Previously, the luxury segment had reported the highest satisfaction scores. This year, however, the performance sport segment overtook the luxury segment by 13 points (748 vs. 735).

Michelin ranked highest in three of the four segments: luxury (777), passenger car (726) and truck/utility (740). Pirelli ranked highest in the performance sport segment with a score of 788.