Michelin and The Dow Chemical Company (Polyurethane Business) have entered into a joint-development agreement to accelerate the technology associated with the run-flat support rings, internal devices that support a deflated PAX System, Michelin's integrated tire/wheel system.

Through the agreement, Dow and Michelin will focus on developing technology and materials to develop a strong, lightweight, cost-effective support ring for the PAX System. Dow brings its knowledge of polyurethane and manufacturing processes to the agreement, while Michelin will provide design and test support.

"Michelin research identified polyurethane as one of the key materials for the support rings for the PAX System; Dow is a recognized leader in the field of polyurethane development. It is a natural fit," said Don Baldwin, manager of new business, Michelin Automotive Industry Division. "We're confident this agreement will lead to technology advancements and a strong relationship between Dow and Michelin -- both of which will significantly help advance the PAX System."

According to Peder Danielsen, new business development manager for Dow Polyurethanes, "We are committed to leveraging our knowledge of polyurethane chemistry and its capabilities to develop an internal support for the PAX System. The joint development agreement with Michelin will accelerate the development and adoption of the support by helping direct our technology and resources to critical performance criteria. The PAX System is a novel approach to addressing the needs of automakers and the driving public." Michelin is creating additional strategic alliances that will cover all development of PAX System and help take a product that meets the demands of consumers and automakers alike and to get the product more rapidly to the market.

PAX System (www.paxsystem.com)is an integrated tire/wheel system featuring a vertically anchored tire, flexible run-flat support ring and tire pressure sensor. Its unique features provide drivers enhanced performance, handling, security, run-flat mobility, fuel economy and increased design freedom.

Dow is a leading science and technology company that provides innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With annual sales of $19 billion, Dow serves customers in 162 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others.

Committed to the principles of sustainable development, Dow and its 39,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities.

For more information about Dow Polyurethanes, please visit the company's Web site at www.dow.com or call 800-447-4369.

Michelin manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The group also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs 26,500 and operates 21 plants in 19 locations.