Saving the Planet: Michelin's Senard Goes to the Sun and Back

Bob Ulrich
Posted on February 9, 2017
"Our industry is one of the most sustainable industries," said Michelin's Jean-Dominique Senard.
"Our industry is one of the most sustainable industries," said Michelin's Jean-Dominique Senard.

When Groupe Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard officially introduced the Pilot Sport 4 S at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, he talked about the tire's improved performance over the company's previous flagship tire, the Pilot Super Sport.

He emphasized how the tire was "directly descended from the tires that are engineered from the track," yet was backed by a 30,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. And he boasted of the company's strong commitment to original equipment, with at least 66 global OE fitments for the Pilot Sport 4 S under development -- that in addition to already announced fitments on a Ferrari, two Mercedes and a Koenigsegg.

As it turns out, that may have been the small picture, at least in Michelin's eyes. To Senard, sustainable mobility was the big picture.

If a no-carbon footprint proves impossible, then the lowest carbon footprint possible is Michelin's ultimate goal.

"Low rolling resistance is so important," he said in Detroit. “Did you know that one tank of fuel in every five is consumed by the tire’s rolling resistance? And that increases to one tank in three for heavy trucks."

That is why he talked about Michelin's Energy line of tires, now in its sixth generation.

“Since the first energy tire, Michelin has further improved rolling resistance more than 25%," he said. "In fuel economy terms, this innovation has saved the equivalent of more than 550 round trips between the earth and the sun. Can you imagine?"

Wow. That totals more than 102 billion miles!

And there are more improvements from the company to come: Michelin invests more than $680 million annually in global research.

Senard also said Michelin believes passenger tires should be removed at 2/32nds of an inch in the U.S., in contrast to the also popular view they should be removed at 4/32-inch. He listed the following reasons:

* It saves on raw materials.

* It saves on energy in manufacturing.

* It saves motorists a considerable amount of money.

"Replacing worn tires at 4/32nds of an inch, for example, would cost a driver approximately one extra tire per car every two years."

Can you imagine?

Related Topics: 2017 NAIAS, B.O.B., flagship tire, Jean-Dominique Senard, Michelin Energy Saver, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, OE tires, sustainability

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Prior to working at Hennessy, Mark Earl had served at Danaher Corp.

Mark Earl Will Lead Nokian's Growth Strategy in North America

Mark Earl is joining Nokian Tyres plc and will be in charge of implementing the tire company's growth strategy in North America. Earl, the current president of Hennessy Industries Inc., will serve as vice president of the Americas Business Area for Nokian.  

European tire retreading needs a promotional upgrade.

A Profitable Future for Tire Retreading?

All around the world the professional retreading of tires is considered to be an important aspect of our industry, especially when it comes to the commercial vehicle sector, and Europe is certainly no exception.


Training Covers Strategy, Process and Execution

Two days, four sessions, and 20+ tire guys later, we return to our stores and companies, and do it all over again. Every once in a while, you must drive a stake in the ground, pause, gather with others, and reassess what you’re doing.


Why Satisfying the Tire-Buying Customer Is So Vital

There are more than 29,000 independent tire dealerships in the U.S., and I like to think they all care about satisfying the customer. But every once in a while, I hear about a store manager taking advantage of a customer.


Government Lowers Tariffs on Chinese PLT Tires

The U.S. Department of Commerce has completed its first review of the 2015 tariffs on passenger and light truck tires imported from China. The result: lower rates — but not for everybody.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!