TROY, Mich.—The Michelin and Pirelli brands earned the highest OE-quality ratings from new car owners surveyed late last year by J.D. Power for its latest Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study.
Michelin earned the highest ratings in the luxury and light truck/utility categories, while Pirelli scored the top rating in the passenger tire category, J.D. Power said.
The ratings are based on responses from 26,131 owners of 2018 and 2019 model-year vehicles who were surveyed from October through December 2019.
Overall customer satisfaction with OE tires reaches an all-time high in 2020, a performance J.D. Power attributed to tire manufacturers' finding the right balance of performance characteristics — without making sacrifices that jeopardize the customer experience.
The annual study measures tire-owner satisfaction in four key areas, J.D. Power said: tire wear, ride, traction/handling and appearance. Rankings are included for three vehicle segments: luxury, passenger car and truck/utility.
"As the technology behind tires improves, we see manufacturers becoming very adept at incorporating those advancements in a way that maximizes overall tire performance," Brent Gruber, senior director of automotive quality practice at J.D. Power, said.
"It wasn't very long ago that we saw considerable trade-offs in tire performance where, for example, tires optimized for wear were not particularly good with characteristics such as traction and handling," he said. "There was more give and take with tire performance.
"Now, our data shows many manufacturers are producing tires capable of excelling in all areas."
The Michelin brand scored particularly well in the luxury segment, where its score of 778 (out of a possible 1,000) was nearly 50 points ahead of No. 2 Pirelli and the only brand that exceeded the segment average of 734. Others to score in this category were Goodyear, Bridgestone and Continental.
In the truck/utility category, Michelin was 40 points ahead of Nos. 2 and 3 Goodyear and Hankook and the segment average. Others scored were Bridgestone, Continental and Firestone.
Pirelli earned the highest score of all, 788, in the passenger car segment, measurably ahead of No. 2 Michelin (741) and the segment average (712). Other brands rated above the average were Firestone, Yokohama, Goodyear and Bridgestone.
For more information about the OE Tire Customer Satisfaction Study visit: jdpower.com.