By Denna Bowman
European tyres giants Michelin and Pirelli have scooped top honours in a leading US customer satisfaction survey.
The French tyres manufacturer ranked highest in the luxury, passenger car and truck/utility segments, while their Italian rival was awarded for the top performance sport tyres in the latest survey by J.D. Power and Associates.
The highly respected study into original equipment tyres measures tyre owner satisfaction over four segments: tyre wearability, appearance, traction/handling and ride.
The rankings are based on responses from 29,818 new-vehicle owners who purchased a 2008 or 2009 model-year vehicle.
The study also found that achieving a problem-free tyre experience during the first two years of ownership is crucial to maintaining brand loyalty.
Nearly one-third of owners who do not experience any problems said they will recommend their tyre brand to a friend, while just 18% of owners who experience one problem say the same.
Satisfaction among owners who do not experience any tyre problems is 726, compared with 590 among those who experience one or more problems.
Allison LaDuc, senior research manager of automotive product quality at J.D. Power and Associates, said: “Providing a problem-free experience is extremely important to tyre manufacturers to ensure good word of mouth recommendations.
“A high-satisfaction experience is also crucial to securing brand-loyal customers, as satisfied customers are less likely to defect to other tyre brands.”