By Denna Bowman
Much has been written recently about tyres manufactured in China due to the hefty tariffs imposed on imports into the US.
But it has raised another important question – are Chinese-made tyres the safest option to buy?
The answer depends on whether you buy Chinese-made tyres from name brands, like Goodyear or Michelin, or opt for those made in China under contract for some private store labels.
Premium brand tyre manufacturers, many of which have moved some production to China to save money, say that production techniques and materials are the same no matter where the tyres are made, and that their Chinese tyres are every bit as good as those made elsewhere in the world.
Keith Price, a spokesman for Goodyear, said: “We have the same global quality standards around the world.
“The standards are the same whether we make it in Oklahoma, Germany, Brazil, Indonesia, or China, the product standards are the same.”
However, there have been some safety issues raised about the safety of Chinese-made tyres manufactured by local companies.
Buying budget tyres from the Far East may save a few pounds to start with, but they can seriously affect the way a car copes in wet weather, Autocar magazine reported after carrying out its own tests.
Tyres from Linglong came last in the trial, slowing to 27.8 mph at the spot where the Continental-equipped car had stopped.
However, it’s not fair to say “you get what you pay for”. Etyres, the UKs leading online tyres retailer sells all the big name brands, including Michelin and Bridgestone.
The difference is that because it operates a mobile fitting service and does not have expensive depots to run, it keeps its overheads down and passes the savings on to customers in the form of low prices – often up to 40% cheaper than the traditional fast fit chains.