GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc. has ended direct-to-consumer online sales of Michelin- and BFGoodrich-brand passenger and light truck tires in the U.S., a sales channel it's used since 2017.
At that time, Michelin said it was entering the e-commerce marketplace in order to monitor and serve evolving consumer demand, and now states it believes it has "achieved that mission" learning about the consumer's "online purchase journey."
While online sales of Michelin- and BFGoodrich-brand tires have ceased on michelinman.com and bfgoodrichtires.com, consumers still can order both brands online via TireAmerica.com, an e-commerce site run by TBC Corp., in which Michelin holds a 50 percent ownership stake.
With this decision to halt direct online sales, Michelin said it will "increase its emphasis on lead generation supporting our retail customers.
"We believe this will have a greater impact on passenger and light-truck product sales through our existing dealer channels," the company said in a prepared statement.
"We will continue to utilize our branded websites to drive the more than 10 million consumers who visit our sites annually to our retail partner locations via the dealer locator and various other touchpoints," the company added.
Michelin also said it expects this change in strategy will provide greater support for its dealers during the COVID-19 recovery period in the months following the easing of the pandemic-related business restrictions.
The company noted that the "simple, fast and efficient" online tools on michelinman.com and bfgoodrichtires.com for comparing, selecting and ordering products include the process of referring the consumer to a Michelin/BFG partner dealership that will complete the purchase and installation.
Now, when searching for tires on either site, consumers are advised: "This tire is currently unavailable for sale online. Please visit your closest dealer to purchase this tire."
Up until April 30, consumers could still complete the online order via either site.
Michelin was the second major tire maker to offer direct-to-consumer online sales in the U.S., after Goodyear, which initiated the practice in 2015 and continues to offer it on goodyear.com.