Michelin Ranked Top Tire Brand in Study

10 September 1998

Michelin Ranked Top Tire Brand in J.D. Power and Associates Study On Original Equipment Tires
    AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Sept. 10 -- Michelin ranks highest in
both passenger vehicle and light truck tires, according to J.D. Power and
Associates 10th annual Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Study.  The study,
based on the experiences and opinions of more than 18,000 consumers with one-
year-old vehicles, reports on how satisfied consumers are with their original
equipment (OE) tires.  Respondents to the study answer questions concerning
tire quality, performance, brand image and service.
    Michelin returns to the top position from its second-place ranking last
year in the passenger vehicle tire category, which includes both cars and
compact vans.  These vehicles cater to customers who prefer a sporty,
performance-handling ride.  Following Michelin in passenger tire customer
satisfaction are Continental Tire, Pirelli and Goodyear, respectively.  These
brands rank above industry average out of 12 tire brands included in the
study.  Continental Tire was ranked first in the 1997 study.
    "The satisfaction index of OE tires on passenger cars and compact vans has
increased to an all-time high in 1998," said Lee Nauert, manager of tire
research at J.D. Power and Associates.  "Improvements are revealed in four out
of six measures, most notably in style and safety/traction, which includes
quick starts, fast stops and emergency handling."
    For the third consecutive year, Michelin receives top honors in the light
truck category, which is comprised of compact and full-size sport utility
vehicles, pickup trucks and full-size vans.  These vehicles are grouped
together due to heavy-duty capabilities in towing and occasional off-road use.
Yokohama moves into second place, followed by BFGoodrich, Firestone, Uniroyal,
Dunlop, Bridgestone and Goodyear, which are all above or equal to the industry
average.
    "Total satisfaction with light truck tires improves a full 10 index points
to 102 from the previous score of 92, which remained unchanged for three
years," said Nauert.  "All measures increase, with the greatest gains in
style, special traction and wearability.  However, there is still room for
improvement in the light truck tire industry and an opportunity for tire
manufacturers to differentiate themselves."
    The study shows that owners and lessees of luxury automobiles, other large
cars and premium sporty cars receive the highest tire satisfaction,
particularly in the areas of wearability, safety, style and ride.  Vehicles
that sport the most satisfying original equipment tires are, in alphabetical
order:  Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chrysler, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus,
Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.  OE tires for Volvo vehicles achieve the
greatest satisfaction improvements in all measures.  The lowest satisfaction
scores come from drivers of full-size vans and full-size pickups.
    The J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction
Study(SM) includes a nationally representative sample of owners and lessees of
all makes and models of 1997 passenger cars, vans, pickup trucks and sport
utility vehicles sold in the United States.  Independently funded by J.D.
Power and Associates to provide a comprehensive perspective of the OE tire
industry, the study features six performance measures: product quality,
wearability, safety/traction, special traction, ride and style.  The 1998

study also includes a measurement of consumer interest in run-flat tires,
self-sealing tires, tread design and tire size.
    J.D. Power and Associates is an international firm best known for its
marketing information services in key business sectors including market
research, forecasting and customer satisfaction.  The firm's quality and
satisfaction measurements are based on actual customer responses from more
than one million consumers annually.  Headquartered in Agoura Hills, Calif.,
the company has U.S. offices in Torrance, Calif., Michigan and Connecticut.
The firm also has international offices serving Canada, the United
Kingdom/Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
    J.D. Power and Associates can be accessed through the World Wide Web at
http://www.jdpower.com.  Media e-mail contact: john.pepitone@jdpower.com.
    This press release is provided for editorial use only.  No advertising or
other promotional use can be made of the information in this release or J.D.
Power and Associates survey results without the express prior written consent
of J.D. Power and Associates.



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