Combining Rising Tire Prices and Decline in Purchasing Power

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For Marc-André Boisvert, president of the ASPMQ, tire centers must find ways to support their customers in the face of rising prices. Photo Adobe Stock

While all signs point to a normalization of supply, what is now an issue for tire centers is the significant increase in tire prices.

Tire centers have long made the effort to tighten their margins to be able to offer competitively priced tires, especially since the advent of online merchants.

That said, the significant increase in tire prices in recent months puts an additional burden on these efforts.

Marc-André Boisvert, President of the ASPMQ. Photo ASPMQ

According to Marc-André Boisvert, president of the Association des spécialistes de pneus et mécanique du Québec (ASPMQ), everything indicates that the problems in the tire supply chain, particularly from Asia, seem to have been resolved.

“We have no supply problems in our business,” says the president, who is also co-owner of Pneus et Mécanique SL in Trois-Rivières. “I don’t hear any feedback from our members either. Certainly, some of the new sizes or even some of the very high performance 21-inch tires are rarer, but in general, we have access to the entire product catalog.”

What Mr. Boisvert has noticed, however, is the significant increase in tire prices, ranging from 10% to over 30% since this summer.

The increase in the cost of raw materials, received by all tire manufacturers, is combined with soaring transportation costs, especially for tires from Asia.

“So much so that the price differential between third and second tier tires has melted away,” says Boisvert.

Shock at the counter

For a consumer going to the counter to buy tires after three, four or five years, the price increase may startle them.

“People are aware that everything costs more, but it’s still hard news to take,” says Boisvert. Especially if customers have changed their cars in the meantime and they have larger or higher-end tires.

If the customer is financially tight or does not insist on a specific brand, he can opt for a more accessible range of tires.

This is what Marc-André de Courval, manager of the Boucherville branch of Les Pneus Carignan, under the Point S banner, also noted.

“We spend a lot of time at the counter explaining that this increase is far from being under our control,” says de Courval. Sometimes the customer will opt for a cheaper tire. However, our consultants know their responsibilities and will suggest a tire that will still perform well. We don’t offer low-end tires that have caused us problems in the past.”

For Mr. De Courval, it is essential in this context to understand the needs of the client while being transparent with him.

A less expensive tire will not last as long, may not perform as well in the snow or on a wet surface, and will not have the durability of the higher end tire.

“Our job is to give all the information,” says the manager. “Then the customer makes his or her choice and we part ways with peace of mind.”


Categories : Editorial, Tires
Tags : ASPMQ, Management

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