Michelin sees growth in winter light truck/SUV tire market

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"We're seeing significant growth in light truck and SUV winter tires" in the United States, Tony Mougios, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. Michelin brand manager, told earlier today during the launch of Michelin's new X-Ice passenger and X-Ice Latitude SUV snow tires near Montreal, Quebec.

The X-Ice Latitude will be available in 10 sizes this fall, while its X-Ice passenger counterpart will be available in 39 sizes at the same time.

Canada still leads the U.S. in winter tire sales, according to Mougios.

The Canadian winter tire market has been growing at an annual rate of 6.8%, he says.

The X-Ice replaces Michelin's Arctic Alpin winter tire, which was introduced approximately six years ago in Montreal.

"The Alpin program did very well," says Mougios. "We had sustainable business with that line, but it had reached maturity. It was time to come up with a next-generation tire."

More X-Ice sizes will be rolled out in 2005, say Michelin officials.

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