MICHELIN Primacy 4 - Long Lasting Performance
Discover our evolution over time
The 1920s: until completely worn
Starting in the 1920s, MICHELIN’s engineers began improving tire performances like traction and braking. The promise of long-lasting, high-performance tires was already a key concern for the Group. A small red blazon represented MICHELIN’s seal of quality, guaranteeing customer performance “until completely worn.”
The 1930s: the Michelin Stop skid-resistant tire
The MICHELIN Stop tire, launched in the 1930s, promised customers skid-resistant tires even on wet roads, until the tire was completely worn out. To achieve that, the tread featured undulating sipes which never completely disappeared - their edges became sharper with wear.
1949 : the radial revolution
On June 4, 1946 Michelin filed the first patent for a radial tire. But it was only three years later, in 1949, that the first Radial passenger car tire was sold under the MICHELIN X brand. This new tire offered improved safety, better gas mileage, and most importantly a longer useful life. It could be driven two to four times farther, with the same level of comfort and safety.
The 1960s: going even further
As other manufacturers began to adopt radial technology, MICHELIN set about improving it. The X tire, produced in versions for all vehicles, offered constant improvements in performance which were valued because they lasted, as the slogans of the era reveal: “With MICHELIN tires, there’s no end in sight", "MICHELIN, quality that lasts" or "MICHELIN: Discover the secret of longer life" !
The 1980s and 90s: angled siping for snow tires
With the invention of angled siping, MICHELIN forever changed the snow tire market. Thanks to its flexibility in use and maximum efficiency in winter conditions this technology quickly supplanted studded tires. Beyond a certain degree of wear (approximately 30%) the MICHELIN XM+S Alpin tire offers impressive grip thanks to the “claw” effect, which is heightened by the double sipes.
1992: the first green tire
Silica, which is made from sand, has long been known for its unique properties, particularly the way it improves tear-resistance in rubber blends. In 1992, Michelin made a major step forwards by combining an original silica with a synthetic elastomer using a chemical binding agent in a special blending process. The blends produced with this technique made it possible to develop tires with low rolling resistance (-35% compared to other tires at the time, for potential fuels savings of 5%) and excellent grip on cold surfaces, while maintaining exceptional durability. The MICHELIN Energy range was born.
The 2000s: 3D sipes
One of the innovations of the 2000s is seen in tread sculptures, with the arrival of 3D sipes. These three-dimensional designs offer excellent road-holding in winter conditions.
2014: EverGrip technology
The MICHELIN Premier A/S tire, presented at the Detroit 2014 auto show, introduced EverGrip technology, which offers drivers a long-lasting, high-performance tire. To guarantee safety, optimal grip and durability, the tread sculpture regenerates as you drive, for better grip even when worn.
2016: sustainable performance, from the first kilometer to the last
In 2016, Michelin reaffirmed its commitment to producing tires that perform up to the legal limit (minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm). The Group is taking a stand against the practice of early tire replacement, which some tire companies recommend. This commitment is in line with Michelin’s historic drive to promote sustainable mobility that is safe, efficient, and uses natural resources responsibly. Early tire replacement leads to the consumption of up to 128 million extra tires in Europe every year - a figure which represents 9 million tonnes of additional CO2 emissions per year. In addition to this environmental impact, replacing partially worn tires generates high unjustified costs for consumers.
2017: used tires, the true test of performance
Braking on wet or dry ground, lateral grip on wet ground and rolling resistance... The May 2017 tests at our Ladoux technology center confirmed that a high quality tire maintains its performance when worn. There’s no reason to replace it early. Because new tire performance does not predict used tire performance, Michelin now recommends testing used tires.
Fighting planned obsolescence
At Michelin, we refuse to play along with planned obsolescence. We design tires that are made to last as long as possible and save natural resources. We also strive to ensure that they will maintain their performance over time. That's why a Michelin tire delivers the same superior performance, especially in terms of safety, until it is worn out. That's our commitment to customers. In November 2017, the German magazine AutoBild published the results of a test done on new and used all-season tires, which showed that the MICHELIN CrossClimate + significantly outperformed its competitors on both grip and durability.
Safety and environmental concerns do not conflict. They can easily be reconciled — the necessary technologies exist and are available. One of the best ways to do that is testing used-tire performance, which would increase performance category-wide, benefiting consumers. Changing tires when the tread depth reaches 1.6 mm instead of 3 mm would save about 400 million tires a year worldwide, which generate approximately 35 million tonnes of CO2. It's up to all of us to shoulder our share of responsibility for safety and the planet.