Over the past year, the automotive tire market has seen an upward growth trend. Which tire brands contributed most to this growth? Which outlets were responsible for the most sales? And what differing consumer preferences shaped that growth?
In this blog, we analyze which brands and retailers make up the U.S. tire market as well as key takeaways for the Canadian tire market (where noted). Read on to discover current consumer preferences regarding tire brands, top locations for tire purchases, and what factors most drive consumers when tire shopping.
For even more actionable insights on the tire market, download our complimentary infographic.
Source: All U.S. data in this article was pulled from the TraQline Durable IQ™ platform using the rolling 4Q ending Q2 2023, Tires: Total Auto/Truck per Tire category. Canadian data was pulled from Durable IQ Canada for the category, Tires: Total Auto/Truck per Tire. For the most recent insights or further dives into the data, please contact us.
What are the top tire retailers by market share?
U.S. Tire Market: Top Retailers
As of June 2023, the top tire retailer is Discount Tire, who leads the tire market in both unit share (14%) and dollar share (15%) — both significant leads.
Other market share insights for tire retailers include:
1. Following behind Discount Tire, the top tire retailers are (in order of share percent) Walmart, Costco, Firestone, and Goodyear. This order holds true for both units sold and dollar share YOY.
2. Firestone is the only major tire outlet to see a decrease in share YOY, down 0.7 points for dollar share and 0.5 points for unit share.
3. All other major tire outlets saw share increases for unit and dollar shares versus this time last year.
4. Notably Discount Tire, our leading retailer, saw the largest change in share compared to the prior year, enjoying increases of 0.6 points and 0.7 points, respectively.
Tire Market: Outlet Draw-Close Rates
As the top two retailers for the tire market, Discount Tire and Walmart also continue to lead other major outlets for outlet draw rate (both with 17%) and close rate, at 84% and 72% respectively.
This means these retailers drew in 17% of tire shoppers, and of that 17%, they closed their respective percent (and therefore did not lose them to another retailer).
Notably, the 17% draw rate enjoyed by these retailers was a significant increase compared to the prior year, likely a contributing factor to their significant dollar gains.
Canadian Tire Market: Top Outlets
For the Canadian tire market, the top outlet is Canadian Tire in both unit and dollar share (21% share and 20% share, respectively).
The next closest outlet is Costco, which came in 8.0 percentage points behind Canadian Tire for unit share (13%) and 4.2 points behind for dollar share (15%).
Which brands lead in tire market share?
U.S. Tire Market: Top Brands
The leading tire brand is Goodyear, winning 15% of the market based on both units and dollars. Goodyear’s market-winning unit share is up significantly YOY, at a growth of 0.8 percentage points. (Want to know the brand’s dollar share? Get the infographic now!)
Other notable top tire brand insights include:
1. Goodyear dollar share saw only a minor gain of 0.2 points versus last year.
2. After Goodyear, the top tire brands in order by dollar market share are Michelin, Bridgestone, Firestone, and BF Goodrich.
3. The order of the top tire brands is similar for unit share, with one exception: Firestone has slightly higher unit share than Bridgestone, putting the brand in third place for units sold.
4. Goodyear is the only top tire brand to gain unit share increase YOY; no brands saw significant increase in dollar share YOY.
Brand Consideration Rates
As the top two brands, Goodyear and Michelin lead for brand consideration with 29% and 21% respectively.
Goodyear and Michelin also lead for close rate (both are 52%), however Goodyear’s close rate increased 2.1 points and Michelin’s decreased 1.3 points YOY.
Canadian Tire Market: Top Brand
The best-selling tire brand in Canada is Michelin, winning 17% of the market in units sold and 19% for dollar share.
What is the average price paid in the U.S. tire market?
As of June 2023, the industry average price paid (APP) for tires was $220, which is similar to the $197 average price during the same period in the prior year.
However, the average amount spent at different outlets and by brand can vary. Let’s take a look at some of these variances below.
Average price paid by retailer – tire market insights
- Of all major tire outlets, Costco and Walmart are the outlets showing a notably different average price than the industry average.
- The average cost for tires at Costco comes in $21 higher than the industry APP at $241.
- The average cost for tires at Walmart was $184 – which is $36 lower than the industry average.
- Other major outlets saw an average price paid that was only slightly higher than the industry average (mostly within a $10 range). This includes our market share leader, Discount Tire, where consumers paid an average tire price of $228, which is only $8 higher than the industry average.
Average price paid by brand – tire market insights
Three of the leading tire brands saw an APP higher than the industry average: Michelin ($257), BFGoodrich ($251), and Bridgestone ($246).
Online vs. in-store sales trends for the U.S. and Canadian tire market?
Online vs. In-Store: U.S. Tire Trends
In-store remains the most common sales channel for tire purchases. In fact, 78% of tire sales are made at a physical retail location.
Here are some of the trends that TraQline uncovered:
- Only 12% of tire purchases are made online, with the remaining 10% coming from alternate channels such as catalogs.
- Of the 12% that purchase online, 58% ship directly to store.
- After an increase of 0.8 points in June 2022 (rolling 4Q), in-store sales comparatively significantly declined 1.0 point in June 2023.
- Online sales significantly increased 1.0 point in that same timeframe.
- Historically, consumers pay about the same price for tires when purchasing online as they do when purchasing in-store.
- This trend continues for 4Q ending June 2023 with an average price for online shoppers of $221, and an average price of $220 for retail purchasers.
- Among the leading retailers, Firestone shows the greatest gap in APP when comparing online to in-store sales. The average price paid online for tires at Firestone was $37 cheaper than when purchased at a retail location.
Online vs. In-Store: Canadian Tire Market
For the Canadian market, in-store sales are also the most common channel (66%). Online sales account for 15% of total purchases.
Unlike the U.S. market, purchases from other channels (such as catalog, mail order, TV shopping) are much higher in Canada. Interestingly:
- 19% of Canadian purchases are from these alternative channels.
- Canadian purchases from these other channels are up 0.8 points from this time last year.
Other key US tire market insights
Durable IQ is more than market share, delivering a complete understanding of the tire market. Here are a few other key insights as of June 2023!
Tire Shopper Demographics
What demographic makes up the average tire shopper? Here are a few insights from TraQline’s census-balanced consumer data:
- 72% of tires purchasers are homeowners
- 62% of purchasers are married
- 54% of tires are purchased with males alone involved in the decision; 16% involve males and females
- 59% of tire shoppers are over 55 years of age
Top Selling Tire Types
Has the recent increase in heavier EV vehicles changed consumer patterns for tire purchases as they look for more durable tires? Not necessarily. As of June 2023, “general everyday driving” continues to be the most popular tire type in both the U.S. (80%) and Candian (46%) markets. Other tire types include:
- Designed for higher performance
- Exclusively for winter conditions
- Designed for terrain such as unpaved surfaces/roads
Though similar to preferred tire type in previous years, purchases of the “general everyday driving” tire type did increase significantly in Canada (+2.9 points) from this time last year.
Tire Purchase Drivers
What moves a consumer to purchase new tires? Here are some insights into the why behind the buy.
Consistently year-over-year, “competitive price” remains the top reason for purchasing at a specific retailer.
- In fact, 53% of purchasers mention “competitive price” as a reason for retailer purchase.
- Both Costco and Walmart over-index in that regard with 80% and 77%, respectively, mentioning “competitive price” as a reason for purchasing at that retailer.
Brands & Outlets Shopped Before Purchase
When purchasing tires, most buyers shop only one outlet (76%) and the majority shop only one brand (57%) before making a purchase.
Get more insight into tire trends and market share
The tire market insights don’t stop here. For more retail sales data, market share, and insights on the tire market, download the Durable IQ-exclusive infographic below. To see insights for other industries or find out how we can help power growth for your business, contact us today.