January 15, 2014
Michelin: Ours worn is better than theirs new
Michelin says the Premier A/S tire in a half-worn state (above) is more effective than the competitor's is new, due to expanding rain grooves that emerge and widen over time to evacuate water.
Michelin North America Inc. says its new Premier A/S tire, when worn, stops shorter on wet roads than the unworn (new) Goodyear Assurance Tripletred A/S tire and the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus.
Michelin introduced the Michelin Premier A/S tire with new EverGrip technology yesterday at the North American International Auto Show taking place in Detroit Jan. 13-26, 2014.
The company is making big claims about its EverGrip technology, saying it provides drivers with exceptional levels of safety even as their tires wear down and when half worn, the Michelin Premier A/S stops shorter on wet roads than the leading competitors’ new tires.
Modern Tire Dealer recently spoke with Michelin representatives about the attributes of the Premier A/S.
MTD: You compared the Premier A/S against a Goodyear product but you did not show how far the Goodyear product went when it was worn to 5/32-inch. How would the percentage difference from your tire new versus worn be different from the Goodyear product at the same 5/32-inch?
Michelin: We didn’t test the Goodyear in a worn state. We focused on showing consumers that from a new state to a worn state, the power of EverGrip is quite large. We wanted to show that when we were worn to 5/32-inch, it still shows it to be better than the competitor's new.
MTD: A few years ago we were in a raging debate about whether tires should be pulled at 4/32-inch or 2/32-inch. Michelin made the statement that 2/32 is what you believed it to be. Is there a faster drop-off between 5/32-inch down to 2/32-inch?
Michelin: Not really. Michelin still stands behind 2/32-inch. It’s not just about tread depth. There are other things we have built into this tire.
Michelin says the new, unworn Michelin Premier A/S tire (above) uses a revolutionary design with a unique set of features to maintain wet traction even as the tire becomes half-worn.
MTD: Is there a difference between braking safety, versus cornering and the breakaway grip when you’re looking at the wear of an all-season tire?
Michelin: We have no compromises in any area of performance. The braking was more concrete with consumers, while the handling was more of a subjective feeling with them.
MTD: Are you replacing a current tire in your lineup?
Michelin: It will replace a majority of the Primacy line including the MXV4 family and the most recent product, Primacy MXV4. We still have some OE contracts we need to fulfill.
MTD: Noise is a factor in Europe and it’s coming to the United States. You’re doing something unique with your grooves enlarging as it wears down. Is noise an issue at all?
Michelin: We have not found any issues with noise.
MTD: Are these all H-rated? How many sizes?
Michelin: Thirty-two sizes and a combination of H- and V-rated.
MTD: What rim diameters?
Michelin: We have 15- through 18-inch.
MTD: Was there a major change in mold design to be able to have the grooves expand? Has that been done before?
Michelin: This is the first product. We really think it’s a game-changer in what this technology is going to offer.
MTD: Will this stay proprietary to the Michelin brand or will you be introducing it at a later date to the BFGoodrich/Uniroyal brands?
Michelin: It’s developed for the Michelin brand but we would not eliminate a consideration for EverGrip into more tire lines.
MTD: Is this what would have been known as the broad line tire?
Michelin: Yes and no. Let’s not ignore the T market, such as our Defender. We use the term entry-level at Michelin, which would be more the broad-based minivans and T-rated.
MTD: Are you looking at the Camry for this? The Accord? The Fusion?
Michelin: Yes, because they come H and V. But this would not be a minivan tire, which would be the Defender.