ETRMA: Tyre labels are changing the way we buy tyres
For the ETRMA, the introduction of European tyre labelling legislation today is a marked step forward in the evolution of the market place. “Consumers will now be able to buy their new tyres knowing how fuel efficient and noisy they are, and how much grip on wet roads they provide. A new and now compulsory EU label will grade tyres from A to G for rolling resistance (fuel efficiency) and wet grip (safety), whilst the number of dBs on the label will display their rolling noise,” the association wrote in a statement flagging up the official introduction of the rules.
But it is not all about consumer information, the new regulations also mandate higher basic standards than before and will raise the bar again when a second phase kicks in in a few years time. Nevertheless, this is the first time that such a detailed label has entered the automotive sector, ETRMA wrote in its statement, adding: “it is a game-changer for the whole tyre supply chain, right down to the consumer. From the manufacturers’ point of view, this will have the effect of enhancing already fierce competition. Furthermore, the manufacturers will benefit from visible product differentiation resulting from increased transparency on the quality of three of the many characteristics of a tyre.”
The point is that as a result, consumers will now be able to effectively compare tyres on the basis of information on selected three performances that were so far little known.
All about enforcement
“We hope consumers will not only find this useful to make better informed decisions” – said Patrick Lepercq president of ETRMA – “but also that they will realise that tyres are very complex products which can change their driving experience, have an effect on the vehicle’s safety on the road and effect the environment”
The effect of these two legislations combined is indeed testimony of “what a tyre can do”. It is estimated that their correct enforcement could result in 5 per cent fuel savings on the total EU fleet. This effectively means taking one million passenger cars off the EU’s roads every year and – for the consumer – significant savings in fuel on the lifetime of a set of four tyres. Furthermore, choosing tyres with the best wet grip would result in shortening the stopping distance of a vehicle as much as four car lengths.
All these are good points of course. But as the ETRMA also reports, the complete success of this policy depends heavily on its enforcement. So it is now up to national authorities to make sure that these legislations are correctly applied if consumers are to make the right choices for their driving preferences.