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J.D. Power Rates Tire-Owner Satisfaction

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Owners of non-luxury Japanese- and Korean-make cars and compact vans report lower levels of
satisfaction with their original equipment (OE) tires, compared with those who own
competitive-make European and domestic vehicles, according to the J.D. Power and Associates
2003 Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Study. The study, based on the experiences and
opinions of more than 30,400 owners in the first two years of new-vehicle ownership,
measures consumer satisfaction with OE tires and monitors consumer perceptions regarding
tire quality, performance, brand image and service. Overall satisfaction is calculated
using a tire-satisfaction index that includes five factors: tire durability, traction,
appearance, ride and handling. While tire durability is of high importance to both
car/compact-van owners and light-truck owners, tire appearance has much higher importance
for light-truck owners. That is due mainly to the influence on appearance of the multitude
of tire size and drive type (e.g., two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive) configurations
available on pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles. In the light-truck segment, which
includes pickups, SUVs and full-size vans, Michelin ranks highest for the fourth straight
year, leading in all five factors. On average, 42 percent of Michelin light-truck tire
owners are delighted with their OE tires, compared to only 34 percent for all light-truck
OE tires. BFGoodrich, Goodyear and Dunlop follow Michelin in the light-truck tire segment,
respectively. Pirelli ranks highest in OE tire satisfaction in the car/compact-van segment,
with top ratings for tire traction, appearance, ride and handling. Pirelli’s key strengths
reside in the handling factor, where more than one-half of owners indicate they are
“delighted” with each of the handling measures. Uniroyal, Michelin and General follow
Pirelli in the car/compact-van segment rankings, respectively.

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