AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2000) — Michelin brand tires were rated the best replacement tire in the passenger car and light truck categories of J.D. Power and Associates´ most recent Replacement Tire and Retailer Customer Satisfaction Study, giving the Michelin brand a clean sweep of J.D. Power´s replacement and original equipment ratings in 2000.
In the replacement area, Michelin passenger tires were rated No. 1 for the second year in a row, and the company´s light truck tires earned the top rating for the sixth straight year, J.D. Power said.
Earlier this year, Michelin passenger and light truck tires earned top ratings in customer satisfaction from buyers of new vehicles — for the third straight year in the passenger car segment and for the second time in the last three years in the light truck category.
Michelin was rated near the top in all the criteria J.D. Power uses to rate tires, the marketing services company said.
``While tire price is a top consideration for all other tire brands, Michelin tire buyers are far less likely to focus on price,´´ said Jeff Zupancic, senior manager of tire practice at J.D. Power, in a prepared statement.
``They are more likely to mention reliability, durability and tire handling and performance as key reasons for their purchase,´´ Mr. Zupancic said. ``Michelin has created a premium market position for itself...."
Other brands rated above average in the passenger vehicle category — which comprises cars and compact vans — behind Michelin were Uniroyal, Kelly-Springfield and Dunlop (tied), Bridgestone and Goodyear.
In the light truck category — covering pickups, sport-utility vehicles and full-sized vans — BFGoodrich, Cooper and Goodyear tied for second behind Michelin.
J.D. Power based its ratings on responses from more than 7,400 vehicle owners in the U.S. who had purchased replacement tires for their vehicles during 1999 — i.e., before this year´s Firestone recall.
The Agoura Hills marketing information firm initially surveyed 120,000 households, from which it received 14,000 responses from individuals who said they had purchased tires during 1999. Participants then were sent a detailed replacement tire and retailer customer satisfaction study.