Tire change, risk of price increases. To choose, it is better to rely on the label

Cars News

Today is November 15, a date that for the Italian motorist means “tire change”. As every year, in fact, the ordinances that impose “winter equipment”, that is to say tires marked M + S or on-board chains, come into force throughout the country (with the exception of the Aosta Valley, which anticipates by one month). . This year, however, the tire change routine will be a bit different. “The high temperatures of recent months have delayed the start of the tire change,” says Fabio Bertolotti, director of Assogomma.

“The health situation, however, has had a positive impact on the tire market which has not suffered any contraction, on the contrary, it is growing from the point of view of the parts sold”. The clear preference of Italians for the car over public transport, considered less safe, had an impact on the kilometers traveled and therefore on tire wear. What worries the sector, if anything, is the crisis in raw materials. “We are in the middle of an economic storm, the rise in rubber prices is anomalous, we haven’t seen something like this for decades,” says Bertolotti. “Raw materials cost an average of 50 percent more due to the price of natural and synthetic rubber, other chemical components needed for the compound and reinforcement materials such as steel. Added to this is the increase in transport costs and, the icing on the cake, the price of energy, which normally impacts 3-5% on costs and has now doubled. Rubber is a highly energy-intensive sector ».

The effect cannot be discharged directly downstream, says the director of Assogomma, because the customer could not sustain an increase in final prices of the order of 25%, and therefore margins are eroded, putting the sustainability of the sector at risk. “The customer may encounter higher prices because companies are unable to keep the old price lists, and may also have difficulty finding some products”.

The problem concerns the entire automotive supply chain. “In a car there are on average 70 kg of rubber, of which 35 kg of tires and another 35 kg of hoses, gaskets and other technical items. We often talk about the microchip crisis, but also the lack of rubber components is complicating the manufacture of cars ». A positive effect, however, this situation could have, and concerns Chinese products. «Asia also has major energy problems and transport has an impact on costs. The price difference between low-end tires, often of dubious quality, and premium brand products could drop significantly, favoring the latter. For those who represent Italian and European production, this is good ».

The tire is not an aesthetically fascinating product, says Bertolotti, and some consumers underestimate it, «but the technical differences can be very notable and affect safety and consumption. To facilitate the choice, for ten years the European legislator has introduced tire labeling “which evaluates both energy efficiency (a class A tire saves 7% of fuel compared to a class E) and grip on the tires. wet (with a 30% reduction in braking distances between the best and worst class).

“In May of this year, the legislator added two symbols, that of the mountain with the three peaks and the snowflake, which indicates the passing of a homologation test on snow, and the” Ice “symbol, which relates to performance on layered ice. This last type of tire is intended for the Nordic countries, it is not suitable for our latitudes ». The awareness of the importance of the tire on safety and overall driving efficiency has prompted Europe to suggest to member countries to facilitate the purchase of performance tires, that is, class A and B. “We invite the Italian government to introduce an incentive, just as it did, for example, with the purchase of water-saving taps. The advantage for the country would be immediate from an environmental and road safety point of view ”.

Rate article
( No ratings yet )
Cars Moto News
Add a comment