Michelin rolls out affordable tires for compacts

As subcompact and compact car sales across the region (including the Philippines) continue to rise, Michelin vies for a bigger slice of the tire-replacement pie with an affordable, high-performing option designed for small- and medium-sized vehicles.

The Michelin Energy XM2+, priced from around P3,000, targets “young, budget-conscious consumers looking for tires with safety and performance that last,” according to a company release. The company’s chief representative to the Philippines Michael Nunag said during the line’s recent launch that among the challenges is “to keep up with new subcompact cars which are getting bigger,” while delivering longevity and performance.

Michelin chief representative to the Philippines Michael Nunag and marketing and communications officer Fiona Valle flank the new Michelin Energy XM2+ tire.

The Energy XM2+ line, already available in the brand’s dealers and associate dealers, features a new full-silica rubber compound which, reported Nunag, “actually strengthens the rubber molecules and filler (while making it) highly flexible to adapt to contours of the road.” The tread features full-depth, large channels to maintain the depth of the grooves even when worn out. The design also effectively disperses water to prevent hydroplaning as it helps cut down on noise.

He continued, “The ‘+’ sign on the sidewall denotes the rubber compound upgrade that is behind the braking superiority of the… Energy XM2+ versus its predecessor. The tire also maintains the green ‘X’ marking, indicating optimized fuel savings. We hope the combination of enhanced safety and superior value-for-money will particularly appeal to the younger consumers.”

As for value propositions, the new tire is said to deliver shorter wet-braking distance from 80kph to standstill (by 1.5 meters) when new, and even shorter braking distance (by 2.6 meters) when worn, compared to competitors. The Energy XM2+ has also been tested to last 25 percent longer than other premium tire manufacturers. These findings were revealed by independent testers TUV Rheinland Thailand Ltd and China Automotive Technology and Reseach Center Co. Ltd, which were contracted by Michelin.

Nunag asserted that the French tiremaker’s key design philosophy is safety while assuring longevity. “We’re pushing the boundaries… (to make sure) that this will perform down to the last millimeter of your tread.” He added, “I haven’t seen any manufacturer doing tests with worn-out tires.”

Replying to a question from WHEELS.PH, Nunag disclosed that around 80 percent of the domestic supply is sourced from Thailand, and points to Michelin’s six-year worldwide warranty as additional proof of quality.

The new Energy XM2+ is positioned to be suitable for Philippine road conditions, and now becomes the entry point to the Michelin portfolio. A total of 36 sizes, from 14 to 16 inches in diameter, are available. For more information, visit www.michelin.com.ph.

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