WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Michelin-brand tires came in first in four segments of the original equipment market in a customer satisfaction survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.
This year´s results mark the fourth consecutive time Michelin is highest in luxury sport and sport-utility vehicle segments, the research company said, and the tire maker´s third consecutive win in the pickup/full-size van segment. The fourth segment is mass-market/nonluxury.
Brands that also ranked above each segment average were:
— in luxury/sport-Goodyear, Continental and Pirelli;
— in mass-market/nonluxury-Pirelli and Firestone;
— in pickup/full-size van-BFGoodrich, Goodyear and Bridgestone; and
— in SUV-Goodyear.
The survey, conducted in March and April, was based on responses from nearly 20,000 car owners who purchased new 2005 and 2006 model-year vehicles. The study measured overall customer satisfaction with their OE tires based on wearability, appearance, traction, ride and handling.
Westlake Village-based J.D. Power said the survey found tire wearability is a major component to consumers´ satisfaction with their tires, yet the issue received the lowest satisfaction scores across all segments.
"While many customers use objective measures like tread gauges or wear bars to determine tire wear, there are still a number of customers who rely on visual appraisals, unusual noises and notably decreased performance to determine when their tires are worn," said Allison LaDuc, senior research manager of automotive product quality for J.D. Power.
"Considering the importance of tire wearability, achieving high levels of customer satisfaction for this important feature should be of prime importance to manufacturers, especially since satisfaction impacts repurchase intent and recommendations, which can lead to new business," she said.