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01/16/2014 | 12:49pm EST

Revolutionary Tread Design Evolves To Deliver Superior Grip Even When Worn.

DETROIT (Jan. 14, 2014) - Today at the North American International Auto Show, Michelin introduced the MICHELIN® Premier® A/S tire for the North American market with revolutionary new EverGrip™ technology, which provides drivers with exceptional levels of safety even as their tires wear down. Even when worn, the MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip™ technology stops shorter on wet roads than the leading competitors' brand new tires.

Available this spring, the MICHELIN® Premier® A/S tire combines hidden grooves that emerge as the tire wears down, expanding rain grooves that widen over time to continue to evacuate water and a unique rubber compound for increased wet grip.

"The MICHELIN Premier A/S tire represents a significant breakthrough in automotive safety and reinforces MICHELIN's Total Performance strategy of tire design," said Scott Clark, chief operating officer of Michelin North America's passenger and light truck tire division. "With our truly revolutionary advancements in tire technology, we are able to directly address the effects of tire wear on grip and have been able to break the traditional paradigm."

Tires rely on grooves in the tread to evacuate water and maintain grip with the road. Until now, tires traditionally lost traction in wet conditions as the tread became worn and grooves lost depth and decreased the tire's ability to funnel water away, increasing stopping distances and the chances of hydroplaning. Wet traction is particularly important for automotive safety because drivers are more than twice as likely to be in an accident on wet roads compared to dry roads.

Unlike conventional tires, the MICHELIN Premier A/S tire uses a revolutionary design with a unique set of features to deliver superior wet traction even as the tire becomes worn. MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip uses three main elements to provide this traction over time:

  • High-traction Compound: MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip features a proprietary rubber compound with high amounts of silica and sunflower oil. The silica provides the bonding strength and adherence to keep the tread on the road for high traction in wet conditions. The sunflower oil allows the tire to grip on wet roads at lower temperatures. These ingredients are mixed through an exacting process that ensures a consistent material contacting the road both when new and worn.
  • Expanding Rain Grooves: In most tires, as the rain grooves lose depth, the amount of water they can funnel away from the tire is diminished. MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip has rain grooves positioned around the circumference of the tire with a special geometric shape that gets wider as the tread wears. This helps maintain the amount of water that the tire can channel away even as these rain grooves lose depth.
  • Emerging Grooves: Initially hidden when the tire is new, MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip has another set of grooves along the tire's shoulder that emerge as the tire becomes worn. More than 150 hidden grooves emerge to provide additional help in channeling water away and maintaining wet traction as miles are logged.

These three elements work together to give MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip exceptional traction in a range of conditions year round. The MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip provides consumers with shorter stopping, hydroplaning resistance and increased grip when new and worn.

"The MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip is a compelling new safety technology that helps keep the driver in control and the car firmly planted on the road, said Clark. "EverGrip continues Michelin's industry-leading commitment to research and development of tire technology."

The MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip will be introduced in the spring and will initially be available in 32 sizes (185/65R15 - 245/45R18) fitting a range of passenger cars. Michelin will offer a limited 60,000-mile warranty with MICHELIN Premier A/S tire, which will be manufactured in North America.

The MICHELIN Premier A/S tire with EverGrip is the latest innovation in Michelin's long history of introducing breakthroughs in the tire industry. In 1946, Michelin introduced the radial tire - a special radial ply design now almost universally used in tires that makes them both durable and flexible. In 1992, Michelin was the first tire maker to use silica widely, silica gives tires low-rolling resistance for improved fuel efficiency and improved grip performance.

The very high performance levels of the new MICHELIN Premier A/S tire are made possible due to the considerable resources that Michelin invests in its research and development activities - around €600 million per year. This means that the Group's products do not only perform in one or two specific areas, but in all areas and this is what is known as 'MICHELIN Total Performance'.

Media contact: + 33 1 45 66 22 22

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