Michelin North America Inc. has introduced a new all-season standard passenger car tire, the Defender, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Jan. 9-27, 2012, at Cobo Hall, Detroit, Mich. Michelin has been the official tire of NAIAS for 24 years.
Michelin says the Defender delivers the company’s technical performance attributes and long-lasting tread life designed specifically for the family car.
“The Michelin Defender will replace two existing lines: the Michelin HydroEdge and the Michelin Harmony lines,” says Pete Selleck, Michelin’s new North American chairman and president. “In so doing, the dealer should be able to cover the breadth of all needs. In the past he needed about 117 SKUs to do that. With this new launch, they should be able to do it with only 57 SKUs.”
Selleck, who took over as chairman and president of Michelin North America Inc. in October, 2011, says the Defender meets the demands of customers who are looking for safe, fuel efficient tires with long tread life and good value for the money.
Michelin says the Defender will stop 31 feet shorter than a leading competitor. It will also last 21,000 miles longer than the mileage of a leading competitor. The company also says a consumer who buys set of four Defenders will save $250 in fuel costs over the lifetime of the four tires.
Further adding to its safety features, the Defender tire maintains the same wet handling as the previous generation Michelin HydroEdge tire. It also has 15% increased snow traction over the HydroEdge.
The Defender tire has earned the Michelin Green X designation. Further mass reduction and a reduction in rolling resistance makes the Michelin Defender tire 17% better in rolling resistance than the previous generation Michelin product.
The Defender also incorporates Michelin’s IntelliSipe technology that combines 3D active sipes and variable thickness sipes to provide increased safety. IntelliSipe technology optimizes the number of sipes within the tire, providing additional grip for braking.
Available in April 1, 2012, Michelin says the Defender will cover 93% of standard passenger car vehicles in the marketplace. It will be available in 38 sizes ranging from 175/70R 13 to 225/50R 18.
The Defender tire is backed by the Michelin Promise Plan, a comprehensive tire service package. In addition, Michelin is launching a 90,000-mile warranty with the Defender.