Supply chain issues drive winter tire shortage

·2 min read
If you prefer a certain tire brand, you may be waiting longer than usual to be able to buy it. (CBC - image credit)
If you prefer a certain tire brand, you may be waiting longer than usual to be able to buy it. (CBC - image credit)

As colder temperatures descend across Canada, a winter necessity for most vehicles is becoming harder to find. Winter tires join the long list of products that are being affected by a supply chain crunch.

Similar to other products, labour shortages, backups at transportation hubs and slowdowns in manufacturing are some of the main problems causing the tire shortage, according to the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada. According to the organization, the country won't run out of tires, but there is pressure on the supply chain.

"If you're looking for a specific type or model of tire, while normally, probably it was very easy for you to find it at your local tire store, well now it's going to be harder," said Jean-Francois Champagne, president of the AIA.

"You might have to wait a few days, maybe a couple of weeks."

Automotive shops in Ottawa are already feeling the pinch.

"I still don't have half of my tire order here that I should have had in the middle of October at the latest," said Steve Burton, parts manager at Campbell Ford. He ordered a supply of winter tires in April, but said he's currently short about 250 units.

Automotive parts shortage

At Frisby Tire, in the city's west end, there is stock but the company said it's going fast. Branch manager Sandro Giaccone said tires are slow to come in and the choices are limited, especially if you want a certain brand.

"I would say start phoning around, shopping around and [as] soon as you find them make a commitment to them because they might not be there the next week," he said.

Tires are not the only car part that's suffering from supply chain problems, he said.

Both Giaccone and the AIA confirmed there is also a shortage on other automotive parts needed for repairs, including rims.


"We're spending a little bit more time on the phone sourcing out the parts and tires. We've had pretty good success so far, but it's a lot more work to get a job done now," Giaccone said.

As for when the shortage will end, Champagne said the supply chain is resilient, but there are concerns it could last for the foreseeable future.

"It's really hard to see when we're going to see the end of that disruption to the supply chain, quite frankly," he said.

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