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Michelin ramps up for Ford

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Michelin North America Inc. will supply its independent dealers with tires direct from its factories to help Ford Motor Co. replace some 13 million tires.

As part of an agreement with Ford, Michelin says it has ramped up production more than 200% at its North American tire plants to help replace Firestone Wilderness AT tires recalled by Ford. The affected sizes will be shipped directly to retailers so as not to disrupt the flow of product, according to Michelin.

“The consumer with a vehicle and tires affected by the replacement action will get Ford-approved replacement tires at no charge, whether visiting his Ford or Mercury dealership or a Michelin dealer” says Jim Micali, president and chairman of Michelin North America. “By making sure we can supply Ford and Mercury dealerships and 11,000 Michelin points of sale, consumers have more choices."

Michelin says 70% of the tires on the new 2002 Ford Explorers are Michelin Cross Terrains, a tire specifically designed for SUVs.

The tiremaker's Consumer Relations Call Center also has extended its operating hours. The center will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, EDT. For more information about the affected tires or the replacement process, call Michelin at 1-800-TIRE HELP or ask on-line at www.michelin.com or www.ford.com.

A Michelin spokesperson says the company will be bringing tires in from Europe as well.

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