GENEVA: Michelin 'merging two worlds' with new CrossClimate tyre
Michelin will launch its CrossClimate tyre in May this year
Michelin says it is 'merging two worlds' with the launch of its CrossClimate tyre that features a summer product with winter certification.
Unveiling the CrossClimate tyre on the sidelines of this week's Geneva Motor Show, Michelin CEO, Jean-Dominique Senard, highlighted the product's ability to combine performance with its 3PMSF certification, crucial for countries where the fitting of winter tyres is a legal requirement.
"The CrossClimate, it is unique, I can say that with all my heart," Senard told just-auto. "The customer should realise we are bringing with this new tyre the perfect answer to their needs.
"This need was clear and obvious for years. We are talking about the vast majority of customers in Europe. Some customers will stick to the ranges we have because for the very good reasons, these people are sometimes more involved in winter conditions, for example, ice or deep snow, [so] they will need the Michelin Alpin tyre, it is quite clear.
"I will have these[CrossClimate] tyres fitted on my car and my wife's as well - you feel safe. We are not talking about an all-season tyre. It is the first summer tyre enabled for winter. OEMs are very interested of course. I would not be surprised if fleet management in the future will be interested, then the OEs indirectly."
Michelin will launch the CrossClimate in May this year on European markets, with the product able to brake in a short distance in dry conditions, while having an A grading for wet stopping performance.
The French manufacturer says 65% of European motorists use summer tyres all year, while four in ten of them consider having to change products seasonally to be a constraint and only act at the last minute.
Some 3% of drivers in Germany and 7% in France also use their winter tyres all year round, compromising dry braking, particularly in warm weather and increasing fuel consumption.
On its commercial launch later this year, the CrossClimate will be available in 23 different sizes from 15 to 17 inches, which covers 70% of the European market.
Further sizes are scheduled for 2016.