Spring has come and it’s time to start thinking about switching over your winter tires to summer or all-season. But if you’re buying new this Spring, shopping for the right tire means having access to relevant and critical information.
Most drivers today base their tire purchasing decisions on factors like cost and mileage warranty. And if they do any research on tire performance, most reviews and rating available focus on how new tires perform. That’s a problem. How a new tire performs doesn’t necessarily indicate how it will perform over time when worn – will it provide the same level of safety down the road?
The current industry standard is to test the performance of new tires, but tires are very unequal when it comes to wear, especially in wet conditions. A new tire which brakes better than others can have a much longer than average braking distance when worn. For instance, the Michelin Premier A/S tire, both when new and worn, can stop shorter on wet roads than brand-new tires from leading competitors. Having the full narrative on tire performance is important, and part of the reason Michelin advocates testing worn tires and providing consumers with the findings during the purchasing process. This will help consumers better understand their choices and the value behind each one.
Educating consumers about long-lasting performance as a key factor in both tire purchase and maintenance is a new concept for the industry. Earlier this year, at the North American International Auto Show, Scott Clark, chairman and president of Michelin North America spoke to this: “Worn tire performance may seem complicated at first, but our premise is simple: consumers should have reliable information about worn tires before they make a purchase. For us, long-lasting performance means making tires that are designed to deliver good performances throughout the life of the tire.”
Long-lasting performance of tires is a safety, performance and environmental issue. “There are some very tangible cost savings and sustainability benefits from choosing tires that are good quality and using them until the wear limit versus choosing a budget tire and replacing it early,” says Clark. Prematurely removing tires that perform well even when worn forces drivers to buy replacement tires before they’re needed, contributing to the over 400 million wasted tires that go to landfills each year worldwide.
As a company that thinks long term about sustainable mobility, Michelin is educating dealers and drivers and starting the conversation around long-lasting performance standards for worn tires. To learn more, visit