Sumitomo signs on as Pax System licensee

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Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) is the latest tire company to jump on the Pax run-flat tire/wheel system bandwagon. The Japanese tiremaker signed a licensing agreement with Groupe Michelin that will allow it to manufacture, promote and sell the system primarily to car makers in Asia.

According to Michelin, with Sumitomo on board, the Pax technology can be promoted "to the global auto makers in all geographical zones." Both Pirelli SpA and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. also are licensees.

"Pax System will certainly be an important addition to our portfolio, especially for the Japanese and Asian auto makers," said Takashi Uchibayashi, executive vice president of SRI. "We hope to vault our business in the long-term."

The Pax system is made up of four elements: an unseatable tire, a wheel, a flexible support ring and a tire pressure monitoring device. In addition to its run-flat capabilities, the system improves handling, traction and fuel economy, according to the company.

"We firmly believe that Pax System is the ultimate mobility solution of the 21st century," said Herve Coyco, member of the Michelin Group Executive Council. "Furthermore, Asia is one of our top priority markets."

The Pax System will be an original equipment option on the soon-to-be introduced Renault Scenic in Europe.

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