DETROIT – Michelin Group is in talks with North American auto makers to secure fitments for tires featuring its high-mileage, low-emissions Green X technology, an insider says.
Michelin already has customers for the system in Europe, such as Volvo Cars andPeugeot Citroen.
Green X, which is featured throughout Michelin’s tire lineup, is an extension of an innovation that made its debut with the tire maker’s fourth-generation Energy Saver product line, which integrates silica into the rubber compound.
Florent Menegaux, president of Michelin’s worldwide passenger-car and light-truck tire business, tells journalists at the North American International Auto Show here the time is right for Green X tires, because “the demand for fuel-efficient and low-emission(s) vehicles is getting stronger and will continue to remain so well into the future.”
The fuel-savings potential of Green X, along with the degree of emissions mitigation, depends on the vehicle. But Menegaux offers a scenario to quantify the technology’s impact.
Michelin tires were on 800 million vehicles worldwide in 2000, he says, and by 2030 that number is expected to hit 1.6 billion.
“Michelin’s objective is clear,” Menegeaux adds. “By the time the number of vehicles worldwide has doubled, Michelin will have reduced the fuel consumption of its tires by half.
“In other words, Michelin is working to make sure that the aggregate fuel consumption of tires in 2030 will not be a single gallon more than current levels.”