Wis. drivers ‘scrambling’ for new tires ahead of wintry weather
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With measurable snowfall expected in southern Wisconsin Tuesday, local auto body shops say they’ve seen a mad dash of customers.
Tire replacements are keeping Joe Conant at Conant Automotive in Stoughton busy. “We went from 90 degree weather down to 30 degree weather in a matter of a couple weeks,” he said. “So everybody’s just scrambling trying to get tires and their cars ready for winter.”
Several other area tire shops, including Capitol Tire and Service in Madison, reported a similar increase in calls, which is typical for this time of year.
Bert Fuller, co-owner at Capitol Tire and Service, noted this year, tires are arriving in worse condition than in past years.
“They’re dry rotted and cracked, and they’re much worse than we’ve seen in years before,” he said, explaining it’s likely the pandemic kept car maintenance off drivers’ minds.
It’s also possible, Fuller said, drivers pushed off maintenance due to inflation, which sent prices soaring across the board.
“Our primary vendors have actually done a really nice job at keeping the prices a little lower than suggested inflation,” he said. “They’re also offering some rebates this time of year.”
Conant, meanwhile, argues inflation’s impact on tires will not be clear until the spring, though in any season he says tires are necessities.
“You can’t do without good tires. You’re going nowhere or going to the ditch real quick,” he said.
For now, Fuller says his supplier’s inventory is steady. “But we’ll see how well that lasts,” he said, “because the demand and phone ringing for tire requests seem to be heavy earlier this year than some other years.”
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