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Why are low profile tyres more expensive?

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missile
missile Posts: 11,694 Forumite
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For example Blackcircles list Michelin Latitude at:
235/55 R19 at £246.70 for Audi Q5 SLine.
235/65 R17 at £182.21 for Audi Q5.

I would suggest the carcass and rubber compounds are very similar. More materials are required to manufacture a 65 aspect tyre.

The 65 aspect will be a more popular size, so there would be some ecconomy of scale, but not enough to justify the huge difference in cost.

Just a thought :happylove
"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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  • Hintza
    Hintza Posts: 19,420 Forumite
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    edited 5 October 2011 at 8:18AM
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    Vanity!

    Could it be because people are willing to pay more for a tyre that is produced more for looks than comfort, longevity and safety.

    Why would anyone buy a 4x4 with low profile tyres, really defeats the purpose of the vehicle.
  • Gloomendoom
    Gloomendoom Posts: 16,551 Forumite
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    I just priced up some 45 profile 20" tyres and they aren't any more expensive than your top quote. It must be down to supply and demand or maybe they just think Q5 owners don't mind paying more.
  • missile
    missile Posts: 11,694 Forumite
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    Hintza wrote: »
    Vanity!

    Could it be because people are willing to pay more for a tyre that is produced more for looks than comfort, longevity and safety.

    Why would anyone buy a 4x4 with low profile tyres, really defeats the purpose of the vehicle.

    and what is the purpose - in your opinion? :rotfl:
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • missile
    missile Posts: 11,694 Forumite
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    I just priced up some 45 profile 20" tyres and they aren't any more expensive than your top quote. It must be down to supply and demand or maybe they just think Q5 owners don't mind paying more.

    That was just an example, obviously there are cheaper tyres ..........








    for cheaper cars :rotfl:
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • Strider590
    Strider590 Posts: 11,874 Forumite
    edited 5 October 2011 at 10:17AM
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    Because low profile tyre's are less common than "normal" tyre's, the material costs are the same, BUT.....

    If you sell 50'000 low profile tyre's a year and 300'000 "normal" profile tyre's, your production costs are much higher for the low profile tyre's.... Simple mechanics of mass production, the more you make/sell, the lower your prices can go.

    It works the same with 4x4 tyre's, less demand = higher cost.

    If it costs me £8m to set up a tyre factory and I only sell one tyre, that's a £8 million pound tyre. If I sell 8 million tyres, they're down to £1 each ;)



    And before Smarty McSmartar5e says owt, I know it's not quite that ^^ simple.
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  • motorguy
    motorguy Posts: 22,489 Forumite
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    missile wrote: »
    For example Blackcircles list Michelin Latitude at:
    235/55 R19 at £246.70 for Audi Q5 SLine.
    235/65 R17 at £182.21 for Audi Q5.

    I would suggest the carcass and rubber compounds are very similar. More materials are required to manufacture a 65 aspect tyre.

    The 65 aspect will be a more popular size, so there would be some ecconomy of scale, but not enough to justify the huge difference in cost.

    Just a thought :happylove

    Its down to economies of scale. Some sizes are more popular than others, therefore more can be made at once therefore keeping costs down.

    Also the example you've given the more expensive tyre is two inches bigger in radius, so you're not comparing like with like.
  • missile
    missile Posts: 11,694 Forumite
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    I did mention economy of scale in post#1. IMHO this would be partly offset by reduction in materials and does not explain the huge difference in price.

    I would suggest it is more a case of profiteering i.e. charging as much as they think the market will stand.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • flyingscotno1
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    missile wrote: »
    I did mention economy of scale in post#1. IMHO this would be partly offset by reduction in materials and does not explain the huge difference in price.

    I would suggest it is more a case of profiteering i.e. charging as much as they think the market will stand.

    Yes but not all the cost will be tyre manufacturers, local retailers will also add in as much at the market will stand.

    Equally the less material might not be totally true- there may well be different engineering to help ensure a smaller sidewall is stiffer and able to support the loadings?
  • marlot
    marlot Posts: 4,946 Forumite
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    edited 5 October 2011 at 11:49AM
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    20 years ago, tyres came in about 12 common sizes. I can't believe how many there are now.

    If you buy a car with an unusual size, your options are so limited. I was talking to someone with a small 4x4, and he couldn't get any decent all terrain tyres in his size. In fact, he had only been able to find 4 tyres in his size in stock in the various online tyre sellers!!!! And one of those was a winter tyre, and another was an economy brand - so really just a choice of two!

    I guess he takes part of the blame for buying the 4x4 he did, but it does seem a daft choice of size by the manufacturer. He could go to a slightly different size, but then has all the hassle of telling his insurer. I think he's going to have to buy some smaller wheels from a different model in the range.
  • Strider590
    Strider590 Posts: 11,874 Forumite
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    marlot wrote: »
    20 years ago, tyres came in about 12 common sizes. I can't believe how many there are now.

    If you buy a car with an unusual size, your options are so limited. I was talking to someone with a small 4x4, and he couldn't get any decent all terrain tyres in his size. In fact, he had only been able to find 4 tyres in his size in stock in the various online tyre sellers!!!! And one of those was a winter tyre, and another was an economy brand - so really just a choice of two!

    Aye, I remember back to the Fiat Cinquecento (sport?)..... Unusual tyre size, which for many years could ONLY be bought via a Fiat dealership and at an extortionate price (I have a feeling it was nearly £200 a tyre).
    Apparently they'd even designed the car so that you couldn't replace with a different wheel size to avoid the tyre costs, because no other wheels would actually fit.

    Though in truth I suspect the engineers simply designed a new wheel instead of going with industry standard (at that time) and the dealerships later took advantage of that for themselves.
    “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an a** of yourself.”

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