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How Do Car Manufacturers Choose Their Factory-Fitted (OE) Tyres?

New cars come with factory-fitted, also known as original equipment (OE) tyres. However, the tyre makes and models on most new cars differ and are often chosen by the manufacturer. There is a lot of logic behind each tire model and how well it would fit a specific vehicle model, but also many partnerships and good relationships between auto markets and tire manufacturers.

If you ever scratched your head thinking about how do car manufacturers choose which tyre brands they will work with, this article is for you. We will discuss that specific influence, helping you better understand how these relationships are made.

Manufacturers & their custom requirements

The first thing on the list when designing tyres is the own set of requirements each manufacturer has. For instance, some decide to focus on a specific area, such as the right tyre size, while others want to produce great features, such as superb aquaplaning resistance or great performance in the wet. To look at an example, a Porsche Cayenne and a Chevrolet Spark need tyres with different requirements to achieve optimum performance and safety.

In addition to this, there are also some legal conditions and requirements for specific regions. In the United Kingdom, these include the load index and the speed index.

Within the European Union (EU), there is some other criteria such as rolling resistance, wet braking distance, tyre noise, all of which influence customer decisions.

Finally, there is the process called Original Equipment (OE) homologation approval, where some vehicle designers choose from existing tyres. In contrast, others review and assess the specific parameters for each model, offering their minimum requirements. Therefore, different car manufacturers have different requirements for tyres they want to use.

How to spot if your tyres are Original Equipment (OE)?

There is a way to spot if your tyres are Original Equipment (OE) or they have been changed over the years by the previous vehicle owner. It’s all written on the tyre’s sidewall – while you can easily see the tyre brand name and tyre size, less recognizable is the code which tells you which vehicle make and model your tyre is designed for. Below is a table including some of the OE tyre marks for different vehicle brands.

Manufacturer OE Tyre Mark
Audi AO, AO1
Audi Quattro RO1, RO2, RO3
BMW *
BMW/ Mercedes *MO
BMW/ Mercedes Runflat *MOE
Jaguar J
Land Rover LR
Maserati MGT
Mercedes Benz MO, M01
Mercedes Benz Runflat MOE
Porsche N0, N1, N2
Tesla T0

Why are there situations where there are more tyre options on the same vehicle?

While vehicle manufacturers and tyre manufacturers both work with their requirements, most of their goals are geared towards efficiency. So, when it comes to making the perfect tyre for a perfect model, manufacturers cannot meet all demands of vehicle designers. There is a compromise between different parameters, and it is not always possible to meet all the factors without impacting each other. That is why different tyre models are fitted onto different vehicles, even if it’s a variation of the original vehicle model.

For instance, one model of tyres may work great with a front wheel drive car model, but there might be another tyre model that works better with its four-wheel drive (4WD) variant. There are tyres that have specific features and can significantly improve the performance of vehicles, respectively. In used cars, this is different, as most vehicle owners will likely replace the set of tyres based on their own likes and budget, while dealerships will often fit their own tyres.

Are factory-fitted OE tyres the best option out there?

Original Equipment (OE) tyres are designed along with vehicles as original equipment, so continuing to use them will ensure the optimized driving performance intended by the manufacturer. They generally focus on providing the optimal fuel efficiency, comfort, and good road handling capabilities.

If you need to replace your tyres soon, you could stick with the same model as your factory-fitted original equipment (OE) tyres, or also look at other brands and options. What’s important to note is that your tyres need to be good, and you should not sacrifice any of these factors.

Some of the factors worth considering include the environment, your driving style and needs, budget, and other specific needs. If you live in the city and you don’t drive much, you can choose tyres that are designed for urban areas. However, if you drive in all seasons and push a lot of kilometers on your meter, go for a set of tyres that offers the very best when it comes to features.