Michelin Challenge Design
December 14, 2002

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From Grand Prix racing to developing the m72, Matra has always liked taking well-calculated risks. At the upcoming North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Matra will unveil its latest work, the Matra P75, a compact, versatile city car as part of the Michelin Challenge Design(TM) display in Michigan Hall.

The Matra P75 is joining concept vehicles from Renault and Venturi as well as 10 scale models and 17 two-dimensional drawings selected from designers representing 13 different countries. Michelin will display the vehicles, scale models and drawings in Michigan Hall, the Michelin Media Center and on the main floor of Cobo Center as part of this year's focus on the past, present and future of French design.



"Performing alongside the giants in the automobile industry calls for a strategic vision geared to delivering innovative solutions to new challenges," said John Grimaldi, president, Passenger and Light Truck Tires OE Worldwide for Michelin. "We're glad to have Matra as part of this year's Challenge Design. It's a French company that had the audacity to come up with the Espace -- a revolutionary family vehicle -- which was launched in Europe in 1984 and became the leader of the MPV market it created."


The Matra P75 is more than representative of French design -- it's a working prototype. The P75 has an environmentally-friendly design. An electrical traction chain fitted under the floor affords exceptional interior space for passengers along with practical functionality. The P75 is outfitted with Michelin low-rolling resistance tires.


"The P75 is another example of the expertise in 'automobile architecture' that Matra is able to offer manufacturers," said Armand Carlier, president of Matra. "In fact, we rank among a select group of engineering companies that can offer expertise across the entire vehicle development process and we are convinced that we are uniquely positioned to become Europe's leading force in engineering services."


Also part of the Michelin Challenge Design display will be a scale model of the Matra m72, a car and motorbike hybrid that demonstrates that freedom and sharing goes hand-in-hand with the company's tradition of pioneering niche markets. Completely open to the environment, the m72 provides an excellent driving experience in a safe and fun design.


"The m72 is a leisure vehicle which induces feelings of liberty and comfort with a surprising degree of simplicity," said Jean-Louis Caussin, executive vice president at Matra. "While it is available to anyone over the age of 16 in France with a B1 driver's license, we think the North American market will enjoy seeing the m72 and they'll wish it was available here."


The Michelin Challenge Design was established in 2002 as a way to bring forward and display significant design work that would not normally have the opportunity to be displayed at a major international auto show. At the 2002 NAIAS, works based upon the theme of Italian design were displayed during press and public days. The theme for the 2003 NAIAS brings together works representative of the past, present and future of French design.


Michelin Challenge Design will display the works of 17 individuals and companies representing 13 countries including Argentina, Australia, China, Colombia, England, France, India, Monaco, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, The United States and Venezuela. A six-person international jury reviewed more than 125 entries from 40 countries to select the finalists for display at the North American International Auto Show.

For complete information on Michelin Challenge Design, entry requirements, themes, news and details, visit www.michelinchallengedesign.com .




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