WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (Sept. 14) — Michelin- and Pirelli-brand original equipment tires ranked the highest in customer satisfaction, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates study.
Michelin North America Inc.´s brand topped the rankings of luxury/sport, pickup/full-size van tire and sport-utility vehicle-based tire segments while Pirelli Tire North America Inc.´s name brand bested the mass market/non-luxury segment in the J.D. Power 2006 Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study.
The study measured owner satisfaction with the OE tires equipped on their new vehicles, based on appearance, handling, ride, traction and wearability during the first year of ownership.
Michelin ranked highest in the luxury/sport and SUV segments for the third consecutive year and in the pickup/full-size van category for the second straight year. The marketing information service firm said Michelin performed well in all five factors, with particularly high ratings for wearability.
Pirelli likewise performed well across all five factors in the mass market/non-luxury segment with high ratings in appearance and traction.
For the luxury/sport segment, the three companies that scored above average satisfaction were, in order, Michelin, Pirelli and Goodyear. In the mass market/non-luxury segment, Michelin was a close second behind Pirelli. In the pickup/full-size van category the above-average rankings included Michelin, Goodyear, BFGoodrich and Bridgestone.
In the SUV ranking, Michelin led Goodyear and BFGoodrich.
J.D. Power, a unit of the McGraw-Hill Companies, said the repurchase intention and recommendations of tire brands were greatly impacted by whether a customer had to replace any of their OE tires during the first year. Of customers who didn´t need to replace their tires, 93 percent said they "definitely will" give a recommendation and 89 percent intended to buy the same brand for replacement.
The study also concluded that tire wearability continues to be the most important factor in overall OE tire satisfaction and that of the five factors, wearability received the lowest satisfaction ratings.