CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (July 6, 2001)—Group Michelin has agreed to license its Pax extended mobility tire technology to Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., giving it an entry into possible original equipment fitments with Asian car makers and their global manufacturing networks.
The deal will give Sumitomo the ability to manufacture, promote and sell products based on Michelin's inverted-bead Pax tire/wheel system.
Michelin and Sumitomo Rubber will work together to offer the Pax system to Japanese and other auto makers in Asia where Sumitomo has operations and to develop after-sales service infrastructure in those areas.
Sumitomo, which has been studying the Pax system for a year, is the third company to license the technology from Michelin, joining Goodyear and Pirelli S.p.A.
“Asia is one of our top priority markets,” said Herve Coyco, a member of Michelin's executive council. “The agreement is an another illustration of our commitment to growth on this market.”
“Pax…will certainly be an important addition to our portfolio, especially for the Japanese and Asian auto makers,” said Takashi Uchibayashi, executive vice president of Sumitomo. “We hope to vault our business in the long-term.”
The Pax system—comprising specially designed tires and wheels, support ring, and pressure detector—offers zero-pressure driveability of up to 120 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph.