Article produced by the PMCtire.com team
When it's “Made in China,” a lot of consumers are skeptical about the quality level of the product. Tire quality, an important component of road safety, should not be taken lightly. Many drivers have doubts about the quality and especially the safety of Chinese winter tires, which are becoming more and more popular due to their affordable prices.
Worth the hype?
Because of the low-cost labour force in China, retailers can afford to sell Chinese winter tires at a very affordable price. Contrary to popular belief, many models demonstrate great performance on snow.
Nothing is perfect, and neither are Chinese tires as they have a long way to go in terms of durability. In order to sell them cheap, manufacturers must use medium quality components and less advanced technologies in the production process. Some Chinese winter tire models are made of rubber compounds that tend to harden in cold weather, which significantly decrease traction on ice. To address this issue, several models can get studded at the retailer. Drivers are therefore ready to overcome the challenges of Canadian winters.
It is also interesting to note that the availability of high-performance tire sizes is limited, so it's sometimes a challenge to find a Chinese winter tire suitable for SUVs and high-end vehicles. Moreover, replacing a damaged tire after a road accident in winter could be a headache, considering the annual production by size is limited. Overall, Chinese winter tires could be a great alternative for drivers on a budget, who don't drive very much or who plan to dispose of their vehicle soon.
Chinese winter tires: hazardous?
Not necessarily. There are over 250 tire factories in China, so product quality differs excessively from one workshop to another. Many European and American models of well-known brands are now manufactured in China under the supervision of experts sent by the head offices to ensure quality. Moreover, some US manufacturers launched a whole range of winter tires specifically manufactured in China, such as Ironman tires from Hercules. Of course, there are also Chinese manufacturers who design and make their own winter tire brands, including Sailun, Minerva (Imperial sub-brand), and Maxtrek.
Note that most of these Chinese winter tire models are quite safe. To find a low-cost tire without sacrificing safety, being a wise consumer is key by following the advice from tire experts in order to differentiate the various Chinese winter tire models available on the Canadian market. With a little help, there is really nothing to worry about.