Car tire change 2022: dates, bonuses and penalties

Car tire change 2022: dates, bonuses and penalties

Car tire change 2022

Road safety is a responsibility that falls on all road users, especially motorists who have the responsibility to keep their vehicle in a state that does not constitute a danger to others: keeping an eye on the tires of your car is a great way to ensure a safe journey, but sometimes it is difficult to orient yourself in a world full of acronyms, symbols and different types of tires designed for different times of the year or for particular areas of use. With this article we want to clarify everything there is to know</a> about car tires.

New buying, traveling habits change tire sales

AKRON, Ohio — The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many things, including consumer buying and driving behaviors, according to researchers.

After taking a deep dive in early 2020 during the height of the pandemic, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) have rebounded toward 2019 levels, but how and when those miles are driven has changed.

As vehicle owners rack up the miles, tire replacement is rising, despite higher prices over the past year.

Tire makers and marketers implemented a series of price hikes over the past year and into 2022, citing supply-chain disruptions and rising raw-materials costs as factors impacting their production costs.

Higher retail prices, however, don't seem to have deterred consumers from buying tires.

'The tire industry, like many others, is experiencing the effects of a shift in overall consumer behavior as it relates to pricing and demand,' Nathan Shipley, automotive industry analyst for NPD Group L.P., said.

'Driving behavior has changed over the past two years but the needs are still there. Consumers are currently focused on getting what they want, while they can, with what is available to them at retail stores.'

Despite elevated prices and altered driving behaviors, unit demand for tires nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, according to NPD.

Prices for consumer replacement tires grew 13% in 2021, compared with 2019, according to the research firm.

Sales growth in 2021 came almost entirely from full-price tire sales, which increased 36% year over year, while the volume of tires sold on promotion grew just 1%.

As a result, full-price tire sales made up 80% of unit volume sales in 2021, compared with 73% in 2019, according to NPD.

Tire sales volume swung dramatically over the past two years of the pandemic, which were attributed in part to related store closures that affected much of the retail industry.

Average prices for passenger and light truck tires soared in 2021, with all major brands implementing a series of the price increases.

In a comparison of the fourth quarter of 2021 with the same period in 2019, average prices of passenger car and light truck tires increased by more than 20%, NPD said.

Tire makers attributed the price hikes to supply issues, raw-materials costs and less retail promotion. These factors may have impacted the availability of certain tires at retail stores, NPD said.

More expensive tires, priced at $140 and higher, contributed significantly more to sales in 2021 and gained more than 10 unit-share points in the fourth quarter, when compared with 2019, according to NPD, noting that higher-priced tires also sold faster, by a rate of nearly 40%.

'Consumer behavior has taken a wild ride since the start of the pandemic, and many behavioral changes surrounding recreation and mobility are here to stay, greatly benefiting the automotive aftermarket,' Shipley said.

'While factors like miles driven and gasoline consumption are near pre-pandemic levels, the makeup of that consumption looks very different, in terms of where drivers are headed, what they are driving or pulling, and why.

'While we are keeping a close eye on rising gasoline prices, all of these other factors contribute to a continued bullish outlook for retail sales in the automotive aftermarket.'

Driving habits

Consumers are changing their behaviors when it comes to driving, especially in urban areas.

VMT have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels but when, and how, they are generated has changed, according to Arity L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of Allstate Insurance Co., that uses vehicle telematics data to track driving behavior.

With a considerable share of the U.S. population still working from home, 'rush hours' are less defined and highways are less congested, according to Jeff Schlitt, sales engineering director for Arity.

Since early 2020, when many businesses closed temporarily during the pandemic and more people were working from home, VMT dropped, but then gained ground over the summer. VMT accelerated into 2021 but involved more traveling than commuting.

Now, VMT are experiencing a spring-break comeback.

'The mileage is definitely back,' Schlitt reported during an Auto Care Association webinar, '2022 Driver Behavior Trends and Their Impact on Parts and Service Opportunities,' on March 16.

'We have a new normal, everyone, and I think that new normal will probably be here to stay until some stimulus that makes it change again,' he said, noting that as of the end of February, nearly 80% of drivers on the road in 2019 are back behind the wheel.

'People are trending towards driving more,' he said. Both urban and rural areas have experienced an increase in VMT; some areas with more drivers, some with fewer.

However, Schlitt noted that many urban areas are no longer experiencing the typical morning and afternoon rush hours. There are more afternoon rush hour miles accumulated than in the morning rush hour, he said.

'People are out driving but they're not commuting to work. They're doing different things. … People are out and about at different times of day. That will explain why we don't see as much congestion on the roadways but we're seeing more mileage.'

Another trend Arity observed through telematics data collection is that the incidence of hard-braking habits seems to have dissipated during the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, there was a high rate of hard braking, especially during dense rush hour traffic in urban areas, he said. People were anxious and trying to get to work on time, so they were in a cycle of speeding and hitting the brakes.

During the national lockdown, this disappeared, Schlitt said, noting that last September people were back driving again in those urban areas but not braking as they were before.

He surmised this altered driving behavior could impact auto parts sales. If people are not braking as hard, there could be a decline in brake pad sales; but if that means drivers are traveling at higher speeds, it could accelerate tire wear, he proposed.

That's why it is important for auto service businesses to track driver data in their markets to gauge changing trends that could impact the sales of certain parts and services, Schlitt said.

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