Michelin’s exhibit at the 2013 North American International Auto Show highlights MICHELIN Total Performance, the company’s global vision and strategy to develop tires capable of simultaneously delivering superior levels of performance in the key areas of safety, fuel efficiency, grip, longevity and durability – without tradeoffs. It is a natural outgrowth of Michelin’s continued and unrivalled ability to engineer advanced tire technologies.
Through MICHELIN Total Performance, Michelin is maximizing tire performances by developing tires that reach for higher and more sweeping levels of innovation than ever imagined. Innovation is a key component of Michelin’s DNA and an imperative that guides all of Michelin’s initiatives.
Maximizing multiple tire performances requires overcoming challenges in design opposition. An example is the conflict that exists in increasing tread life, or longevity, while reducing fuel consumption. The easiest way to extend tire life is to add more rubber to the tread, but this negatively impacts fuel efficiency as more rubber means more weight and greater rolling resistance. Dry and wet grip performance is another example of design opposition. For dry conditions, it’s optimal to have as much rubber on the road as possible, as a slick tire does in racing. Conversely, for wet conditions it’s necessary for tires to use patterned blocks and ridges to evacuate water and break up the surface film, allowing the rubber to grip the pavement and improve safe handling.
Resolving these conflicts with minimum sacrifice and achieving optimal tire performance exemplifies MICHELIN Total Performance.
Michelin devotes approximately $770 million annually to the research and development of innovative, new tire technologies. With this commitment, Michelin operates 400 simulation tools, conducts performance and quality tests that incorporate 700 different measurement and testing methods and test drives the equivalent of 1.8 billion miles for endurance and tread life testing. This rigorous analysis and Michelin’s leading technologies are at the heart of Michelin’s ability to develop tires that achieve the unmatched balance of performances in safety, fuel efficiency, grip, longevity and durability.