When it comes to their car tires, Malaysian car owners are largely a practical lot. In a recent GfK study conducted among car owners, a higher proportion (67%) indicated that they will change their car tires to improve comfort, compared to the lower number who will do it for the sake of enhancing their car’s performance (49%). Even then, three in five (60%) said they will only do so out of necessity. The study was conducted in Central Malaysia in December 2015 car owners were surveyed on various aspects of car tire purchasing attitude and behavior to uncover consumer purchasing trends for car tires in the region.
“Our research findings show that car owners generally change their tires only when needed, such as when there’s puncture or if they are worn out,” noted Selinna Chin, Managing Director for GfK in Malaysia. “Besides this group of consumers, there are others, albeit to a much lesser extent, who would deliberately change their car tires for greater reliability or better performance.”Nearly two in five (39%) replace their car tires by the third year of owning their car, while 37 percent does it within two years.
When it comes to key drivers of car tire brand selection, findings reveal that brands play a significant role in helping car owners make their selection of what kind of tires to choose. Over a quarter (26%) said they prefer to go with the original car tire brand which came with the car when it was first purchased. Another 18 percent also said they tend to choose a brand that they often use and are familiar with.
“Many respondents indicated their reluctance to switch to a new car tire brand unless they have personally encountered a bad experience with the existing one,” commented Chin. “Hence, it is very important for brands to collaborate with car manufacturers to ensure that new vehicles are installed with their brands to improve the likelihood of car owners opting for their brand as the preferred one during tire replacement.”
Competitive pricing emerged as the single most important key influencer among respondents when choosing a service provider to change their car tires. Nearly half indicated this, as well as good services and location, to be the top three considerations in their channel selection to change car tires.
According to the latest GfK’s universe count for Central, Northern, and Southern Malaysia, there are over 8,000 tire specialists and fast fitters, each carrying an average of five to six different brands of car tires. GfK’s point of sales tracking revealed a slight decline of 4 percent in the total replacement car tire market size in Malaysia’s Central, Northern, and Southern regions in 2015 compared to the previous year.
“The replacement car tire market in Malaysia is very competitive and brands definitely have to step up their efforts aggressively just to maintain their stake in the market,” Chin said. “While expanding their network of partners is vital to help boost sales, it is ultimately the consumers’ positive experience with the brand which is most impactful in leaving a lasting favorable impression—that will contribute greatly in sealing the deal when it comes to which brand they end up choosing,” she concluded.