It happens every year, customers put off buying their winter / snow tires until it's too late. Winter / snow tires aren't made throughout the year, therefore when inventory is depleted, it's likely they will not be available until the following fall or winter. The winter of 2011-12 promises to be worse than previous years due to a shortage of raw materials and plant layoffs.
This creates even more of an issue for customers with specialty tire sizes, especially for the owners of sports coupes, sedans and sport utility vehicles equipped with larger diameter SUV wheels. Ironically, these vehicles typically need winter / snow radials more than most because most BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche tires fall under the Summer Passenger performance category. Tires in this category are not appropriate for use in snow or on ice and can actually be quite dangerous during winter driving.
In many cases, customers who wait too long end up with only all-season options, and while they're a better solution than summer tires, all-season tires simply do not offer the same snow and ice traction of dedicated winter / snow tires.
If you're planning on getting winter wheels and tires for trucks, cars, vans or SUVs, don't wait too long or else you may get left out in the cold.
Be safe and happy motoring!