It might be a good idea to get a head start on installing your winter tires.
Many companies across B.C. are expecting shortages of winter tires over the coming months, including both OK Tire and Kal Tire in Burns Lake. Lakes District News spoke to OK Tire owner Clayton Wainwright, who said that the problem stretches far past Burns Lake.
“The shortage of winter tires is here. Many sizes are already not available in many of the brands. I have had customers from Prince George buy tires from us as their local tire stores told them to look elsewhere,” he said.
Kal Tire Communications Supervisor Nikki Kinakin, also spoke to Lakes District News, saying that COVID-19 is one of the main factors for the issue.
“The tire business has always been cyclical, a trend that has been amplified due to COVID-19. A strong demand in the market following a forced pause in production last spring due to COVID-19, along with increased freight and raw material costs have influenced the scarcity in supply,” she said.
Kinakin also mentioned that Kal Tire has made an effort to stock up on tires in case of shortages to make sure they can provide customer service, and warned that people should be weary about not waiting to purchase new winter tires do to the current state of the market
“At Kal Tire, we are fortunate that having our own large warehouse network and trucking fleet has allowed us to stock up on tires well in advance of the upcoming winter season to ensure we can still take care of our stores and customers’ needs,” she said.
“That said, we are recommending customers get in early to get the best selection of tires, as there is uncertainty regarding future supply over the next many months. We are also continuing to monitor the situation globally to ensure we can continue to offer the same service and products to customers. We know that some specific brands, categories and sizes may be in short supply as we venture through the season.”
Lakes District News also spoke to Joshua Martin, a service advisor for Eagle Automotive Centre in Burns Lake. Martin reiterated that COVID-19 is the main factor for the shortages.
”The forced shutdowns and mandates in response to COVID-19 seem to be the cause of these shortages, price increases, and overall disruption to supply chains. Some tires are out of stock, and there is limited stock on others. For our part, we are simply ordering tires while supplies last.”
On most major routes in B.C., drivers were officially required to have winter tires installed by Oct. 1, and must have them on until April 30.
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