by Jeongmae Choi
- In Korea and elsewhere, the full-size spare tire is becoming a thing of the past. Once considered essential, car manufacturers have come up with alternatives in order to increase gas mileage, cut costs and increase trunk space.
- Hyundai, Kia and Renault Samsung equip cars with a temporary tire, which is smaller and lighter than a full-size spare.
- GM Korea has been the most active about shedding the spare. Its Chevrolet Spark, Cruze and Orlando come with a small repair kit, which consists of liquid tire sealant to plug punctures and an air pump to reinflate the tire.
- SsangYong Motor’s 2012 model of the SUV Korando C also has just a repair kit. This is a remarkable change because one of the distinguishing features of the Korando had been its spare, which was visibly mounted on the rear door.
- With mobile phones and roadside assistance, drivers with a blown tire automatically reach for their mobile phone and dial roadside assistance, which will change a flat for free.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Spare tires are going the way of cassette tapes: obsolete. Why fiddle with jacks and lugnuts and get your hand dirty when you don’t have to?
- Consumers would gladly trade more trunk space, better gas mileage and a slightly less expensive price tag for a full spare tire that they may not want or know how to change.