Michelin's Supply Tyres for Concept Cars
December 27, 2002

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Many key concept vehicles, sports cars, trucks and fuel-cell vehicles alike at the upcoming North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will be fitted with Michelin(R) brand and BFGoodrich(R) brand tyres from Michelin. More than 15 concept and show vehicles have been assessed and equipped with special or custom-carved tyres to fit the personality of each
automaker's vehicle.

Michelin has partnered with several automakers to deliver tyres for 2003 NAIAS show vehicles 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 tyres around the look and personality of that specific vehicle."

Chubb added that Michelin's approach is to either custom-carve existing tyres or to mold new tyres specifically for a vehicle. Molding new tyres allows Michelin to deliver tyres 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(R) Willys2 featured custom-carved green colored tyres 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 tyres that complement the character of the concept vehicle. We've carved in logos from the Dodge Ram to LEGO(R) 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(TM) display - will be fitted with special tyres. The Renault Vel Satis will feature the latest in PAX(R) System technology with the 225/690R540A tyres, while the Renault Koleos will be equipped with PAX(R) System 240/800R560A Heracles tyres. The Venturi Fetish, a unique touring car, will be fitted with Michelin Pilot(R) Sport tyres and the Matra P75 will feature Michelin's special low-rolling resistance Proxima2 tyres.

A worldwide concept introduction from Honda will feature unique, custom- carved Michelin 245/50R19 tyres, while a new concept from Cadillac will feature large 265/40R24 custom-carved Michelin tyres. Elsewhere on the 2003 NAIAS show floor, the Chevy SS High Performance Heritage Sedan will feature hand-carved BFGoodrich(R) P275/45R22 rear tyres ready for the drag strip and custom BFGoodrich(R) tyres 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 tyre technology.



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