Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Talking About Tires

Like Rivrdog, who commented in this post, I was once also a fleet manager for a bunch of police cars.  I was working for the local parole office in a small, rural district, and like police agencies everywhere, we drove the iconic Ford Crown Vic, police package.  This was 1995 or so, and the cars ran a 15 inch tire, and came from the factory with Goodyear Eagles, the speed-rated version, P22575R15.  That tire today is known as the RS-A, and is still available for those folks who drive those big, lovely sedans.  Today, it lists for $186.00, and back in the day, it was an ~$80.00 tire if you walked into the dealership and paid cash.

However, there were so many of those cars in use, and the Crown Vic was such a magnificent police cruiser, that everyone in the police business bought them.  Ford sold those cars to virtually every police agency in the US and Canada, and export versions were sent as far as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.  I don't know how many of those cars Ford made, but US sales averaged over 5,000 units per month during the entire production run.  That's a lot of vehicles, probably upwards of a million units, in service all across the world.

The State of Louisiana, because so many of those cars were in use, entered into a contract with Goodyear for tires, sold locally through the myriad Goodyear dealers in the state.  When we needed tires we took the cars down to the Goodyear store and told the manager that we wanted a set of tire under the state contract.  The state contract price was $25.00 per tire, with a $10.00 mounting/balancing fee.

I wish I could buy a set of speed-rated Eagles for $140.00 today.

For the record, the new tires on my car are Yokohama Avid Touring, which I understand is a good, mid-range tire for that vehicle.   I paid considerably more than $25.00 for each of them.

1 comment:

JoeMama said...

I worked a considerable amount of time for a large auto manufacturing company. At various times I was a fly-on-the-wall during some meetings.

One recurring conversation was the customers' desire for "commodity" sized tires as standard. The "Ride Engineers" seemed to be addicted to specifying the least common (and most expensive) size tires. They said that it was required to provide world-class ride and handling characteristics.

The price difference between an odd-ball size and a "commodity" size is breath taking. I definitely would vote for the commodity size....but I was just a fly on the wall.