December 30, 2002

Michelin creates concept tires for concept vehicles

Detroit, Michigan – Michelin tire company is equipping many concept vehicles at the upcoming North American International Auto Show with special Michelin and BFGoodrich brand tires. More than 15 concept and show vehicles have been equipped with special or custom-carved tires to fit the personality of each automaker’s vehicle.

Michelin has partnered with several automakers including Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Renault, Toyota, Venturi, Matra and Johnson Controls.

“Although these projects are demanding, Michelin is a company passionate about design that seeks out technically demanding projects,” said Tom Chubb, vice president of marketing, Michelin Automotive Industry Division. “We get involved right from the beginning of a project, and design the tires around the look and personality of that specific vehicle.”

Chubb added that Michelin’s approach is to either custom-carve existing tires or to mouuld new tires specifically for a vehicle. Moulding new tires allows Michelin to deliver tires that have the visual look in both sidewall contours, tread pattern and colors that the automaker wants to complement its vehicle.

“For example, in 2002, the Jeep Willys2 featured custom-carved green colored tires that enhanced the look of the vehicle,” Chubb said. “By using the tread, the sidewall texture and color, Michelin is able to create some very unique tires that complement the character of the concept vehicle. We’ve carved in logos from the Dodge Ram to LEGO System blocks.”

This year at the Michelin exhibits on the main floor of Cobo Center and in Michigan Hall, four vehicles — part of Michelin’s Challenge Design display — will be fitted with special tires. The Renault Vel Satis will feature the latest in PAX System technology with the 225/690R540A tires, while the Renault Koleos will be equipped with PAX System 240/800R560A Heracles tires. The Venturi Fetish, a unique touring car, will be fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport tires and the Matra P75 will feature Michelin’s special low-rolling resistance Proxima2 tires.

A worldwide concept introduction from Honda will feature unique, custom-carved Michelin 245/50R-19 tires, while a new concept from Cadillac will feature large 265/40R-24 custom-carved Michelin tires. Elsewhere on the 2003 NAIAS show floor, the Chevy SS High Performance Heritage Sedan will feature hand-carved BFGoodrich P275/45R-22 rear tires ready for the drag strip and custom BFGoodrich Tires are used to support the rugged performance and look of the Chevy Cheyenne.

In addition, a number of major new production vehicles on display at the North American International Auto Show will feature the latest in Michelin Tire technology.

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