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Michelin - The Only Tire Choice for NAIAS

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New North American Chairman Unveils Brand's Advanced New Family Tire in Detroit

SEE ALSO: Exclusive PRESS PASS COVERAGE of the 2012 North American International Auto Show

DETROIT--Jan. 9, 2012: Marking its 24th year as the official tire of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Michelin -- the world's leading tire manufacturer -- today introduced a new all-season standard passenger car tire that delivers Michelin's renowned technical performance attributes and long-lasting tread life designed specifically for the family car.

"The launch of the MICHELIN® Defender tire represents a significant breakthrough for the standard passenger car tire segment," said Pete Selleck, Michelin's new North American chairman and president, at a press conference this afternoon during NAIAS at Detroit's Cobo Hall. "The Defender tire is a product that meets the demands of Americans who are enduring difficult economic times and are insisting on top value for their money in a way not seen for decades. Consumers can now have a safe tire that lasts longer, thanks to Michelin quality."

Anticipating the need for a tire that does more for less, Michelin engineers were hard at work during the depths of the recent economic crisis to create a new standard in performance that could empower the family car to go farther and safer, while offering better fuel economy than ever imagined, all at a competitive price point.

As a result, the MICHELIN® Defender tire is the best standard passenger car tire the company has ever made. It is designed for the American family, and it fits virtually every standard passenger car on the road today. It combines safety, longevity and fuel-efficiency in one high-performing tire, without having to sacrifice one performance for another.

While the Detroit show highlights the best new vehicles in the world, this latest Michelin innovation can renew the family car already in American driveways with improved performance -- all backed by the Michelin Promise Plan.

The MICHELIN® Defender tire incorporates many of Michelin's latest technical advancements, including the all-new, revolutionary IntelliSipe Technology which combines 3D Active Sipes and Variable Thickness sipes enhancing tread features and providing increased safety. IntelliSipe Technology optimizes the number of sipes within the tire, proving additional grip for assistance in braking confidently.

MaxTouch Construction combined with the interlocking action of Michelin's breakthrough IntelliSipe Technology delivers impressively long wear life by providing exceptional tread block rigidity, while optimizing the tire's contact with the road during acceleration, braking and cornering.

In fact, the MICHELIN® Defender tire outlasts a leading competitor by up to 21,000 miles* and stops up to 31 feet shorter** than a leading competitor, helping drivers stay protected on the road.

Additionally, due to its low rolling resistance for better fuel-efficiency, the MICHELIN® Defender tire can help drivers save up to $250 in fuel @ $3.50/gallon over the life of the tires.***

All of this performance is backed by the Michelin Promise Plan, a comprehensive plan unlike any other offered in the tire industry. For example, with the Promise Plan, customers who buy two or more MICHELIN® brand tires get a robust guarantee and warranty plan that includes a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, limited mileage warranties on passenger and light-truck replacement tires and flat-tire changing assistance for 36 months.

The MICHELIN® Defender tire, designed, engineered and manufactured in North America, will be available in April 2012.

For Nearly a Quarter Century, the Michelin Media Center Has Been the Hub for NAIAS's Worldwide Press Coverage

The Michelin Media Center is in its 24th year supporting Detroit's North American International Auto Show--one of the most important and widely covered automotive events in the world.

With some 6,000 U.S. and international press descending upon Detroit's Cobo Hall during the second week of January, the Michelin Media Center provides 27,500 square feet of working space and resources, including a devoted TVS Broadcast Center that helps journalists broadcast the news from Detroit around the world.

With a total of 700 total working press seats this year, the Michelin Media Center continues to offer photo center seats; computer work stations with high-speed, fiber-optic network connections; study carrels; and small meeting areas for interviews. Again this year, the media can take a break from the stress of the show with massage therapists and massaging chairs.

New for 2012 -- Michelin Media Live!

For years, the Michelin Media Center has helped journalists cover the Detroit show. Now, with Michelin Media Live, the tire maker is launching a whole new level of press coverage resources.

Michelin Media Live is a multimedia hub that allows the press who are attending the show -- or even those working outside Detroit -- the ability to experience in real-time the major breaking stories on the show floor right from their computers. Because it was developed with input from top journalists, Michelin Media Live will be a valuable media resource for the working press. What they wanted was a place to go for real-time news. And now they have it.

At Michelin Media Live, journalists can see and experience new-car unveilings live, get 360-degree camera views that can also be repurposed as well as almost instant photography of new cars and other must-sees of the NAIAS. In a sense, Michelin Media Live can be viewed as a virtual reporter that any journalist can follow.

For information on all things Detroit Auto Show go to and experience a new tool in your reporting arsenal.

The 2012 Michelin Challenge Design

The Michelin Challenge Design program started in 2002 and continues to recognize and support design by providing an opportunity for aspiring designers from all over the world to present their most interesting works at one of the world's premier auto shows.

The theme for the 2012 Michelin Challenge Design is "City 2046: Art, Life and Ingenuity." Michelin Challenge Design participants were asked to select one of five international cities to design a car of the future that meets the unique mobility challenges of that particular city. The winning designs will be on display at NAIAS this year.

Michelin at NAIAS 2012

Visitors to NAIAS 2012 are encouraged to explore two areas of Cobo Hall to engage with the brand. The first, Michelin North America's exhibit space in the Main Hall, is designed around the launch of an all-new Michelin premium passenger car tire. The space also features tire displays with Michelin's complete line-up of high performance, luxury touring, cross€“over, winter and light truck tires.

New for 2012 is a 4D theatre in the exhibit where visitors can experience Michelin's current television commercial "Rain." A host of surprises and interactive elements await guests, complete with vibrating floor and simulated weather elements.

Secondly, on Cobo Center's main concourse is the Michelin Challenge Design exhibit, providing attendees a sneak peek at the future of transportation design while featuring winners of the Michelin Challenge Design competition.

The Michelin Challenge Design exhibit at the 2012 North American International Auto Show highlights the finalists who competed in the 2012 "City 2046: Art, Life and Ingenuity" challenge. Along with fresh solutions for urban transportation challenges from Michelin Challenge Design finalists, the urban-themed display includes city-oriented vehicle concepts from Honda, Renault and Tata Technologies, while Schneider Electric displays a new charging station.

* Based on commissioned third-party wear test results versus Continental® Pro Contact ECO Plus Technology tire size 215/60R16.

**Based on internal wet braking test results versus Goodyear® Assurance® ComforTred® Touring tires size 185/65R15.

***Based on fuel @ $3.50/gallon and upon fuel efficiency estimates from rolling resistance testing versus the Yokohama® Avid TRZ 215/60R16 over the warranted 90,000-mile tread life of the MICHELIN Defender. Actual on-road savings may vary.