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Tire stack with bow

It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused particularly large effects on the automotive industry, namely in regards to the semiconductor shortage and factory working restrictions that have greatly reduced the amount of new vehicles produced, leading to an inventory shortage. Another pandemic-caused shortage may be on its way, this time in the form of certain types of tires. Just like the materials are in short order and the demand is high for semiconductors, so is the same for rubber, and thus making tires at risk of being in shorter supply. Read on with us at 401 Dixie Kia as we outline the possibility of a tire shortage, why it’s happening, how it affects you and when you should act if you need a new set.

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Why Might There Be a Tire Shortage?

There’s several reasons why you may be seeing fewer options for winter tires this fall and summer and, unsurprisingly, they’re all related to the current pandemic. The global shipping container shortage has continued to affect how companies across the world are able to ship their goods and materials, often causing huge delays, affecting everyone down the line. Pandemic lockdowns and factory restrictions, while varying from location to location, are still largely in effect, and especially impactful given how interconnected tire production is across the world, from sourcing materials to actually having them made. As well, an increase in demand from China for rubber, in specific, has further ramped up its possible scarcity, as when it all comes down to it, any tire shortage is directly dictated by the amount of rubber available, which is tenuous at this moment.

What Tires Might Be Affected By a Shortage?

Currently, the issues with tire availability are more directly related to supply chain issues rather than not having materials to build said tires. Thus, the current crop of tires available is in great standing, but it’s the future after these currently available tires that’s a bit more uneasy. This means that if you need winter tires for your vehicle, you should be able to get some, where the trouble comes if you’re looking for a specific size or make that you desire, which may not be available, causing you to settle for something else. There will be a great selection of tires to choose from, just maybe not the specific tires you want, and which could be getting worse with raw rubber material at a possible tipping point, so act fast for what you want.

Line of tires in winter environment

When Should I Buy My Winter Tires?

Our biggest tip for any driver at this time who needs a new set of winter tires is to act now! You should be getting your winter tires (and swapped on) way before winter and the snow hits anyways, but now it’s especially important so you can hopefully guarantee you can get the set you want. Also, be willing to be flexible, you may not find exactly what you want, or may have to wait an extended period of time to get your tires ordered in, so plan on possible secondary options. Winter is yet to be upon us, but it’s not too early to be thinking about spring as well, and planning ahead for any new tires you may need then and getting a jump on it, given the uncertainty in the tire and rubber market.

If you have any questions about our tire stock, ordering a set, or just need some help finding the right set for your vehicle, our Kia tire experts are here to assist you every step-of-the-way. Contact us, today, and we’d be more than happy to get you situated for the winter driving season.