According to What Car?, 95% of UK motorists use summer tyres all-year round. Experience suggests that this is due to a general lack of understanding of the substantially improved performance winter tyres can deliver in the snow and ice, and the outstanding progress made in the field of developing tyres designed for all conditions. The balance between cold, wet weather stability, dry grip and low rolling resistance for better fuel consumption is a difficult one to strike, but it is clear that many of the manufacturers in our industry have been investing heavily to achieve just that.
All-season tyres were introduced to the UK market several decades ago, but the latest generation of these products are fantastic compared to their predecessors. At Maxxis, we’ve led this innovation through the rising all-round performance levels of our all-season range, which includes 150 options across products such as the AP2 passenger car and MA-LAS van/light truck tyres. The latest offerings in this sector are employing features such as high density sipes, tougher sidewalls and an advanced tread compound to ensure a strong performance in a variety of conditions, and we think it’s time these advancements are recognised by general motorists.
Changes are certainly afoot with our European counterparts Germany, whose lawmakers recently updated regulations for winter weather driving. From the 1st January 2018, tyres with the M+S (mud and snow) labelling will no longer be accepted on German roads in winter conditions. Instead, only winter and all-season tyres with the Alpine or Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake (3PMSF) marking will be permitted on the roads. With this marking appearing on an increasing number of all-season tyres, including our own AP2, it is clear motoring authorities are recognising their capability to perform well in adverse weather conditions. This is paying dividends for dealers, with mid-year all-season tyre sales up a healthy nine percent for 2017-18, compared to the same period in 2016-17, according to the latest GfK Panelmarket data.
Raising consumer and tyre dealer awareness of the benefits of all-season tyres will be critical in replicating the growth seen in Germany in the UK. The EU proposals to make it mandatory for tyre labels to be shown to customers at the point of sale will go a long way towards achieving this, as the new labels include updated information on snow and ice performance. With dealers are offering them up for comparison, it’s safe to say tyre buyers, especially those replacing tyres in the winter months, will at least be considering swapping summer for all-season products.
The annual changeover of winter and summer tyres will always have its place, particularly in countries that experience plummeting temperatures and persistent snowy weather. For the majority of Central and Northern Europe however, all-season tyres will continue to provide solid performance near both ends of the spectrum for people, which acknowledge the benefits of tyres specifically designed for cold and wet conditions, but that don’t want the hassle of buying, keeping and fitting two sets of tyres.
For more information on the Maxxis AP2 all season tyre, visit https://www.maxxis.co.uk/catalog/tyre-515-1-all-season-ap2.