CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (July 12, 2013) — Group Michelin is taking another step to reinforce its credentials as more than a tire company, launching "Effifuel," a multi-faceted consultancy approach to helping commercial vehicle fleets reduce their fuel consumption.
In a nutshell, Effifuel "integrates the main factors that influence vehicle fuel consumption, with driver training and support, the deployment of a dedicated team of 'fuel analysts' to design actions that improve fuel efficiency and the implementation of systems to ensure real-time traceability of vehicle data," Michelin said.
The initiative is one of the first tangible efforts of Michelin Solutions, a multi-disciplinary entity launched earlier this year that seeks to enhance "professional" customers' profitability and facilitate their mobility.
After rolling out Effifuel in Europe this year, Michelin Solutions plans to offer the program to fleet customers in other regions as well, although a timetable for other countries is not yet fixed.
Michelin North America Inc., for example, is "assessing the opportunity to bring this and other innovative concepts to its North American fleet customers," but said in a prepared statement that "pertinent details and information" will be disclosed at a later date.
Based on current diesel fuel costs in Europe, Michelin estimates fleets could cut their operating costs up to 3.5 percent by running their trucks more efficiently.
Among the key parameters of Effifuel are:
• Performance objectives that are contractually guaranteed, with gains shared with the customer;
• The integration of an array of action drivers that include more than just the tire;
• The support of an ecosystem of partners that are experts in a variety of fields—such as training, telematics and electronics—to deliver an integrated solution; and
• A money-back guarantee if the objectives are not met.
Micheln Solutions describes its objective as becoming the "committed partner that resolves the main mobility-related problems faced by fleet managers while supporting their growth and sharing the value created with them."
The result, Michelin said, is a contractual agreement between the customer and Michelin Solutions that specifies the resources to be deployed and the objectives to be met.
This agreement is made possible, Michein said, because of a number of factors:
• Its decades of experience with fleet management, which led to the creation of a dedicated unit, Michelin Fleet solutions, in 2001.
• A system of partners selected for their expertise and technological leadership in fields such as cloud computing, telematics, electronics, driver training and fleet management.
Michelin Solutions then acts as the systems coordinator, leveraging a range of market innovations to shorten time-to-market.
Among the partners Michelin has chosen for the launch are: Accenture P.L.C., a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company; Atos Worldline, an expert in end-to-end services for critical electronic transactions; and Async Technologies, developer of the TyreCheck automated tire inspection and management solutions for the manufacturers and dealers and fleet managers.
Michelin is basing some of its expectations on data that show fuel accounts for nearly 30 percent of fleet expenses in Western Europe and up to 40 percent in Central Europe and that the monthly fuel budget for a truck driven 75,000 miles a year may equal or exceed the annual tire budget for that vehicle.
The tire maker also notes that the pending "ecotax" levied on trucks in France will be based on CO2 emissions, which are directly related to fuel consumption.