8 out of 10 American-made products are preferred by the American consumers according to the consumer reports. 60% consumers are reported to pay 10% more for the goods that are domestically manufactured. Yet the Associated Press poll presents another picture. 3 out of 4 consumers were found to prefer American-made but finally purchased foreign-made item with less price. What do these contradictory reports say?
There is a constant conflict where the question of foreign-made and American-made products comes. Domestically-made items are preferred by the consumers but in the end, budgetary constraints win and they buy foreign-made items. A lot of American-made goods are not cost-effective. Do they offer enough value to justify the price? What is value?
Merriam Webster defines value as, “A fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged.” Simple! You spend money and expect a fair return. If a tyre falters fast, American-made or not, it will take you nowhere. It perturbs your budget and livelihood both.
The market is full of options but the question of “which tyre is the best?” is still daunting. What should you buy? All-season or specialized? Foreign or domestic? Let’s break down this question with the fundamentals.
The beginning of the tyre making
The first gasoline motor was invented by Benz in 1888. It included pneumatic tyres on its wheels. In 1845, the pneumatic tyre was invented by Robert Thomson, a Scotsman but this tyre did not attract the consumers until John Boyd Dunlop, another Scotsman made a tyre for the tricycle of his son in 1888. Thus, the concept of an air-filled rubber tyre mounting on a wheel of metal was replaced by metal wheels. The first pneumatic tyre was made in 1905; it had increased traction because of treads. In 1913, the assembly line was invented by Henry Ford. With the industrialization of synthetic rubber by Du Pont, the American company, mass production of tyres became possible and the consumers found the age of modern tyre.
The journey of advancements in tyres went on and the radial tyre (1949) which offered an increased fuel efficiency with an equal road contact of the tread through vertical cords. In 1980, RunFlat tyre was known as rolling on the uneven and scratchy surface. In 2000, the era of environmentally-friendly Eco Tuning tyres started to match the needs of eco-friendly motors.
When you visit to buy tyres, you will come across a large variety but looking from the angle of material, they are made up of natural and synthetic rubber along with carbon black. Natural rubber is provided by Hevea Brasiliensis, the rubber tree native in South America and grown on tropical basis in Western Africa and Southeast Asia. No matter they are made in America or anywhere else in the world, their making depends on the tropical plantation of rubber trees outside USA. Synthetic rubber is taken from crude oil polymers; carbon black comprises of natural gas or crude oil blended with oxygen in a combustion process.
70 percent of the rubber of the world is consumed by tyre manufacturers and the scientists are now trying to find new alternate of rubber. Almost 93% of rubber supply comes from Asia where they are striving to preserve the rainforests. The guayule shrub can be an alternate in the time to come. It is a desert plant grown in the US and is known for less intake of water and resistance to disease.
Where tyres are designed and manufactured
The future of tyres in UK is bright as heavy expenditures are being made on R&D on tyre development. A heavy tyre development is being seen in UK especially in Formula One. Giants like Pirelli are consistently working on tyres that necessarily mean that we can expect anything revolutionary.
The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (BTMA)
The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (BTMA) plays a vital role in supporting and promoting the tyre manufacturers that supply tyres made by the European factories. BTMA also takes care of the safety measures and environmental concerns as well road safety and employee health and safety. It actively works with the government agencies, ministers, and state officials to consider issues regarding tyre industry and take effective actions.
BTMA also cooperates with the other tyre trade associations and it is through the Tyre Industry Federation and with the Health and Safety Executive and industry ttrade unions through Tyre and Rubber Industries Safety Action Group. Also, BTMA works in collaboration with European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization and the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association.
Made in the UK
Development of Rubber Tyres in UK
Charles Goodyear is credited to invent vulcanised rubber in 1839 when he discovered that sulphur should be added to improve longevity of the natural rubber tyres.
Robert William Thomson
The vulcanised rubber pneumatic tyre was patented by Robert William Thomson in 1846 but it did not bring the desired results due to the lack of demand. So the next development took 40 years when in 1888, when John Dunlop was trying to improve the comfort of his son’s bicycle. So he invented the pneumatic tyre though Thomson has patented it 40 years back. After winning a legal battle against Thomson, Dunlop founded the Dunlop Rubber Company.
Detachable pneumatic tyres
Michelin Brothers invented detachable pneumatic tyres with Edouard and Andre in 1891.
Michelin grabbed the credit of developing the first radial tyres in 1948. These steel-belted radial tyres had increased mileage and longer life.
Pirelli made the wide redial tyre in 1975 and it brought increased mileage and even tread wear. Tire life was enhanced with it.
In 1975, Pirelli produced the wide radial tyre. This provided the ability to drive for an increased number of miles. The durability was improved with an ensured even tread wear. This rigid construction extended the tyre-life dramatically.
A good tyre keeps real value for you
The poorly-made tyre is, for sure, to wear out soon. Buy an inexpensive, poorly-made or used tyre and you will find yourself back in the tyre market searching for another tyre. Buy a poorly-made, expensive tyre, and you’ll face the same music. Spend your money to buy a quality tyre and expect to see long tyre life combined with an excellent road performance.
The nutshell is to buy the tyre that is optimal with longer life and peak performance. An optimally-built tyre saves your money and increases fuel efficiency. Gas saving can be 4 to 7 percent with tyre size and design. An ideal design increases road traction and longevity.
You can have an extra amount to spend on tyre. Fine! But don’t compromise on value. Maybe you spend a little extra amount but the domestic manufacturers are striving for delivering you the maximum value in response to the amount to pay.