Thanks in no small part to its wonderful logo (Bibendum, the Michelin Man), Michelin is one of the best-recognised brands in the world. The company may not have invented the radial pneumatic tyre itself, but just as importantly it worked out how to make the removable version. On this knowledge the company’s brand and reputation were formed. Invention and technology are key to the company’s continual presence at the very top of a marketplace which would not really exist were it not for that eureka moment at the end of the Nineteeth Century. Huge involvement in cycling and motor racing paved the way for a company which now makes market-leading tyres for every type of vehicle.
Michelin’s Energy Saver range has proved a market-leader for drivers of small and medium-sized cars. It is a multi-purpose tyre: one that is equally at home on long motorway journeys, around town and in all weather conditions. It has a special under-tread layer with very low rolling resistance polymers. These lead to reduced fuel consumption. Under EU labelling regulations, this tyre scores a ‘B’-rating for fuel economy. This sits alongside an ‘A’-rating for wet grip.
The Energy Saver range is approved as original equipment for many European-built cars. It was fitted to a 1.6 litre standard production Peugeot 208 which recently returned 141mpg on Peugeot’s test track in Belchamp, France. This was a new long-distance fuel consumption record. These tyres are factory-fitted to a range of smaller cars. Among them are the BMW 1 Series, Ford Focus and Renault Clio.
The new Primacy 3 will gradually replace Michelin’s Primacy HP. The latter is a range which proved very popular with those seeking an all-purpose tyre. It provides good qualities of safety, performance and longevity. The Primacy 3 offers excellent braking, roadholding and cornering qualities in all weather conditions. It is ‘A’-rated for wet grip. Many Audi A3 and A4 models now leave the factory with these tyres.
The Pilot Sport 3 and Pilot Super Sport ranges are popular Michelin tyres for high-performance and sports cars. The Pilot Sport 3 is designed for optimum roadholding when cornering and precise steering response, with an ‘A’-rating for wet grip. It is factory-fitted to models from a range of high-performance marques, among them Porsche and BMW. The Pilot Super Sport is suitable for premium sports cars and ultra-high performance models. It offers high levels of safety and handling in all weather conditions. It is an excellent performance tyre, available in sizes to fit high-powered SUV and 4×4 vehicles, and found on many new BMW X5M and X6M vehicles.
Michelin also offers the popular Alpin range of winter tyres. These can offer up to 35% better fuel economy than the average winter tyre. The company’s Latitude range is especially designed for 4x4s and SUVs.
A new development is the company’s Cross Climate tyre, which is designed to be an all-season option. It combines the wet grip and braking performance of a summer tyre with a winter tyre’s traction and braking qualities in snowy conditions. It is the first summer tyre to have winter accreditation.