How tire dealers can find the right customers for all-weather tires

How tire dealers can find the right customers for all-weather tires

An all-season tire is good for the average consumer, but there are areas where an all-season tire isn’t the best option.

Every tire comes with tradeoffs. And that isn’t ideal for drivers, who tend to ask a lot of their tires. Drivers want year-round performance, but all-season tires aren’t sufficient in wintry conditions. Drivers want winter safety, but winter tires wear quickly and perform poorly in summer temperatures. All-weather tires offer drivers a compromise option – a year-round tire with the three-peak mountain snowflake emblem. But like any compromise, all-weather tires aren’t a one-size-fits-all answer either. They aren’t as extreme as a winter tire in snow and ice, and they don’t typically last as long as an all-season tire.

So, who is the right audience for all-weather tires? And how can dealers persuade those customers to opt for this increasingly popular product? That’s a question we discuss a lot at Nokian Tyres. We introduced the all-weather passenger tire to the North American market in 1999, and we just launched the sixth generation of the segment, the Nokian Tyres Remedy WRG5.

Nokian-Tyres-Remedy-WR-G5-sidewall-1400
The Nokian Tyres Remedy WRG5.

Qualifying the customer

To market all-weather products like the Remedy WRG5 successfully to consumers, dealers have to walk a tightrope. They don’t want to cannibalize winter sales by downgrading customers who need extreme snow and ice performance, but they also want to sell the benefits of a year-round driving solution to all-season drivers who could use an upgrade.

To find that balance, dealers can use the danger of averages. If an all-season tire is good for the average consumer, that means there are areas in the U.S. and Canada where an all-season tire isn’t the best option. An all-weather product is an ideal compromise for drivers who visit winter or have winter visit them – or drivers who are good candidates for winter tires but insist on sticking to one set per year.

Education starts with the counter worker

Nearly 75% of all-season drivers feel unsafe on the road at least a few times each winter, according to a study Nokian Tyres commissioned. In that same survey, only 30% of drivers correctly identified the chief benefit – winter performance – of all-weather tires over all-season.

Add the fact that the terms “all-season” and “all-weather” sound similar and are often used interchangeably, and counter workers have a challenge on their hands.

Consumers don’t have the time or desire to learn about the features and benefits of every single tire. People at the sales counter need to know their stuff. A better-educated consumer starts with a fully educated dealer. It’s up to dealers to make a recommendation, back up that recommendation with short answers that are truthful and display the confidence they have in the recommendation they’re making.

For all-weather tires, that means clearly differentiating the segment from its all-season counterpart.

Selling a different experience

That difference lies in the experience a driver will have on all-weather tires versus all-season products.
The way we talk to the consumer has to relate to their specific experiences. If an all-season driver voices a fear of winter conditions, all-weather tires are a great alternative. Meanwhile, winter tires might be ideal for some drivers, but if they aren’t looking for two sets of tires, they should consider all-weather tires because of their winter benefits.

Explaining how that shift in performance benefits safety in the worst driving conditions can convince customers to choose all-weather tires. There is no shortcut. It’s about understanding a customer’s needs, being educated on the all-weather segment and selling them a tire that meets their individual concerns.

For a growing number of drivers, that product will be an all-weather tire.

Steve Bourassa is the Nokian Tyres North America Director of Products and Pricing.

You May Also Like

Mass. Lawmakers Could End Right to Repair Impasse

A Boston Globe editorial suggests that the state legislature “might be able to break the stalemate.”

Mass-lawmakers right to repair

Just when it looked like the nearly three-year Right to Repair saga in Massachusetts was entering its final chapter, the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) dropped a bombshell. NHTSA’s June 13 letter to 22 automakers, filed with the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, informs vehicle manufacturers that complying with the expanded Right to Repair provisions in Massachusetts would be in direct conflict with “their obligations under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.”

AI & Your Tire Shop: Using it to Your Advantage

AI could revolutionize the tire industry. It’s time to adapt and invest for success.

AI Stock image
Finding TPMS Sales & Maintenance Opportunities

Follow five steps to keep TPMS systems functioning properly.

Low-PSI-TPMS
Airless Tires Represent Another Milestone Breakthrough

Airless tires, a potential game-changing breakthrough, may become mainstream by 2024.

Goodyear-airless
Six Solutions for Recruiting and Retaining Talent

Tire dealers are actively recruiting and retaining employees through job postings, employee benefits and more.

Telle-Tire-Top-Shop-5-1400

Other Posts

Gallery: 2024 Off-the-Road Tire conference

Check out some of the highlights from this year’s OTR Tire Conference, featuring speakers on OTR service safety, economic outlooks and other trends.

Matt-White-live-service-group
Nominations for 2024’s Top Shop award are now open

Are you the next Top Shop? Do you know an independent tire dealer who deserves this honor? Nominate a shop today!

topShop-1400
Nokian Tyres receives A- sustainability score from CDP

This is the fourth consecutive year that Nokian Tyres has received an A- for its climate work.

Nokian-score-low-emissions-stock
How tire traction and tread design affect tire performance

Even though tires might all look the same to some customers, you should inform them how tread design works to improve their experience.

TR-Continental-treaddesign