4×4 tyre sales may have fallen due to the effects of coronavirus and lockdown, but prices in certain key sizes are actually higher than they were before those challenges presented themselves at the start of the year. Tyres & Accessories spoke to tyre market and pricing data experts Encircle Marketing in order to learn the details.
When you break the data down by size, a number of interesting trends are immediately identifiable. Firstly, there was a clear pre-lockdown price fall in February. The average price of a 255/55 R19 V tyre, for example, fell almost £6 from £138.10 to £132.86 between January and February. However, the average price of this size recovered to a point higher than the January starting point in March (£138.90).
Looking at the market as a whole, online tyre prices have fallen on average since the start of 2018. According to the latest data supplied by market research specialists at Encircle Marketing, online tyre prices in August 2018 were 1 per cent lower on average than in January. However, the data is not uniform across the sector and different online tyre retailers (otherwise known as e-tailers) have different pricing policies.
While it was difficult to predict the outcome of June’s EU referendum, it is even harder to predict what the resulting Brexit vote means for the tyre business. Much of the discussion relating to the post-Brexit tyre market has focused on the legislative changes that may be coming. However, just over three months after the Brexit vote, the latest pricing data from market insight specialists Encircle Marketing appears to suggest that while UK sterling tyre prices are going up, exchange rate effects mean theses same UK prices are moving in the opposite direction when converted into euro equivalents.
Online tyre retailing continues to grow in volume and influence – something that has been expected for a long time. However, the proliferation of differing online strategies is something that is proving to be less predictable. Gone are the days when online tyre retailing was simply a price competition, or in other words a race to the bottom. That strategy has resulted in the demise of many here-today-gone-tomorrow startups and has instead led to the development of a considerably more nuanced market place. Still, the online tyre space remains fiercely competitive with the likes of Blackcircles and Tyregiant each signing deals with supermarkets Tesco and Asda respectively; and with National Tyres backing the AA’s tyre offer, as another example, In other words, this market is now about far more than who can offer budget tyres for the lowest price.