Weather Updates

Tires for pickups, SUVs become harder to find

01/13/10 Maywood Angel Quintanillpaints tire Martinez  Custom Tires Wheels Express Tire Center Maywood. The shop sells new used tires

01/13/10 Maywood Angel Quintanilla paints a tire at Martinez Custom Tires and Wheels Express Tire Center in Maywood. The shop sells new and used tires, provides tire balance, fixes flats and more at their location at 512 W. Lake Avenue. The number to the shop is (708) 483-8100. (Brian Valentin /Staff Photographer)

storyidforme: 14852877
tmspicid: 5181178
fileheaderid: 2518391

Updated: July 6, 2011 2:08AM

As if high gas prices weren’t enough, now drivers are facing shortages of some tires, especially for sport-utility vehicles and pickups.

After a number of plant closings and the reduction of inventories during the recession, some tire makers have been caught short as demand picked up for new cars and drivers who’d delayed spending headed in to replace balding tires.

There are “definitely problems” in supplying tire dealers with all the stock they need, said Dan Zielinski, spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the tiremakers’ trade group.

“Each tiremaker is being challenged,” says John Rastetter, of the Tire Rack, a big online and direct-sales tire retailer. “We encounter some long-term back orders or some suspension of low-volume tires.”

Besides increased demand as the economy picked up, Rastetter says tiremakers have been vexed by the proliferation of different tire sizes and types that makes it harder to keep dealers fully stocked.

Gannett News Service

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.