TUSTIN, Calif.—The Pirelli brand earned the top spot in AutoPacific Inc.'s latest Replacement Tire Owner Satisfaction Award ratings, edging out perennial winner Michelin.
Since the company's first study was published five years ago, Michelin ranked first and Pirelli second. According to the results of the latest study, the rankings are now reversed, with Pirelli taking the top spot, Michelin second and Firestone third.
AutoPacific's Replacement Tire Owner Satisfaction Awards measure how satisfied owners are with 17 tire attributes, ranging from performance and traction to fuel efficiency and price. The satisfaction rating is weighted by the importance rating for each attribute, communicating how well each tire brand performs to the needs and expectations of their owners.
The latest ratings are based on responses from 7,784 recent replacement tire buyers about their satisfaction with their new tires, as well as many other topics including purchase process, brand image, retailer selection and satisfaction, and media consumption.
"Pirelli owners place high importance on performance characteristics like cornering and traction, in addition to the more common attributes of safety, reputation and warranty,” said AutoPacific President George Peterson, who authored the study.
“To rank at the top in our owner satisfaction awards, it is imperative that Pirelli not just perform well, but perform exceptionally well in areas, like performance, that mean the most to their owners,”
The rest of the Top 10, in descending order, are: Goodyear, BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Toyo, Uniroyal, Yokohama and GT Radial.
Firestone, Toyo and GT Radial have climbed consistently in their rankings since 2013, the firm said.
“GT Radial's consistent climb in ranking is interesting because the brand has such a high percentage of first time buyers,” Peterson said.
According to AutoPacific data, brands with a high percentage of buyers who are new to the brand historically have had fluctuating satisfaction ratings, as is the case with Nexen, Fuzion and Nitto.
“GT Radial has actually been able to increase their percentage of first time buyers over the years (60 percent in 2015) and continue to climb in satisfaction rankings by giving buyers what they're looking for: a maintenance-free, reliable tire at a good price.”
In addition to being named the 2015 overall satisfaction winner, Pirelli was the top car replacement tire brand, while Firestone was the top light truck replacement tire brand.
Vehicle segment winners were:
Luxury car, Pirelli; large car, Goodyear; mid-size car, BF Goodrich; compact car, Michelin; sport/sporty car, Pirelli; compact/mid-size SUV, Michelin; compact/mid-size XSUV, Goodyear; large/luxury XSUV, Hankook; van/mini-van, Yokohama; full-size pickup, Firestone.