2009 Tyre Year in Review
As the year draws to a close now is good time to reflect on the past 12 months in the world of tyres. This is tyrereviews first look at the year as a whole which includes predictions for 2010 and the important best and worst tyres of the year.
2009 has been a difficult year for the tyre industry, as it has for many industries. Many independent dealers have closed down, tyre manufacturers are reporting a larger than expected drop in sales and the cost of producing tyres is going up. With nearly every major manufacturer announcing a small price increase for 2010 it looks to be another difficult year ahead, but with a few interesting twists. More on that later.
Community Winner 2009
The community winner for 2009 is the tyre we feel has had the largest positive feedback from the community, and with comments like below there was one clear winner.
...the only thing that will grip better would be a track tyre...
Stunning wet grip and all the dry grip you'll ever need! Have done 50+ laps of the nurburgring on this set of tyres in wet and dry conditions plus four UK track days, fantastic!
Wow.. never going to buy another tyre again as long as they make this tyre...
These Uniroyals are the best thing since sliced bread...
Somehow as good as all the reviews say...
Winning this year is the amazing Uniroyal Rainsport 2
. Unfortunately this is likely to be the first and last award for this tyre as the latest information is that Uniroyal are replacing the Rainsport 2 in 2010.
Runner Up: Nokian WRG2
- for the outstanding cold weather performance.
Magazine winner 2009
2009 hasn't been the strongest year for magazine group tyre tests. The complexities involved in reviewing multiple sets of tyres in identical conditions results in a high cost per review, which hasn't been compatible with the 2009 economic conditions.
Averaging the magazine tests we've covered from this year, and including others we've not from this year and other years, we feel the award should be given to the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric
for it's continued dominance in 2009.
Community Loser 2009
While tread design doesn't vary much from year to year, compounding certainly does. This honour is being bestowed upon the aging Pirelli P6000
due to the continued poor reviews this year. The P6000 design is almost as old as tyres themselves and thanks to it's early life success at winning OEM fitment it's still in circulation today.
Sales figures from 2009 show the market moving away from the high cost premium brands (Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli, Goodyear etc) and towards the midrange brands like Hankook and Kumho, largely due to the economic climate. It has also been a year where the Korean brands have finally put class leading tyres to market with Hankook winning awards all year with the Hankook Ventus V12 evo
and Kumho getting great feedback in the community. The bring brands will never die, but they might lose a little market share in 2010.
2010 is also likely to be the first year "ultra low rolling resistance" tyres make an impact in the market. With petrol prices rising consumers are now mindful of overall petrol consumption and understand the role tyres have to play. Technology has also vastly improved meaning ultra low rolling resistance tyres aren't as bad as they once were, and with the world pushing the "Green" message they'll likely find their way onto more vehicles straight out of the factory.
Surprise of 2009
For a lot of people, the announced discontinuation of the Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3
in at the start of 2008 was the end of the great performance tyre and was a hot topic for many months. Fortunately this year we've barely heard it mentioned thanks partly to the continued success of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric
and partly due to developments from companies like Pirelli, Dunlop and Bridgestone.
And finally a thank you
And finally we'd like to thank the thousands of people who have provided excellent, impartial tyre reviews in 2009. There have also been many excellent suggestions for improvements to the site and in 2010 we plan to implement as many of these as possible. As always, any further suggestions or comments please feel free to post below.