Michelin Advertising Focuses on the Impact Tires Make on Vehicle Fuel-Economy
Michelin’s leadership in the development of fuel-efficient tires was once again in the spotlight after the Attorney General of Tennessee launched an investigation into Michelin’s recent passenger car and light-truck tire advertisements and promotional claims.
The investigation was focused on Michelin’s claims, type size and footnote disclosures in recent fuel-efficiency advertisements, and did not challenge the quality of Michelin tires. The tire maker has received exactly one complaint related to its fuel efficiency advertising - lodged by a competitor, Bridgestone/Firestone, based in Nashville, Tenn.
“Michelin supports the Tennessee Attorney General’s efforts to inform consumers about the important role tires play in the fuel economy of their vehicle,” said Scott Clark, COO of Michelin Americas Small Tires. “The truth is, tires do make a significant difference in the fuel economy of a vehicle and Michelin fuel efficient tires not only improve fuel economy by saving drivers money at the pump, but they do so without sacrificing any of the other performances - long wear, wet braking, excellent handling that consumers have come to expect from Michelin.”
Michelin presented test data demonstrating a major advantage in rolling resistance and related fuel-efficiency compared to most tires in its competitive set. In 29 of 37 tire categories (78 percent), the average rolling resistance of the Michelin tires was lower than the average of all other competitive tires. In addition, the data showed that a Michelin brand tire was the most fuel efficient in the majority of tire categories. The link between tires and vehicle fuel economy has increasingly been a Michelin focus since its introduction of the silica-based tire in 1992.
“We fully cooperated with the AG’s investigation into this matter because we support the highest level of precision in consumer communications,” added Clark. “We believe that the messaging in the advertisement, as well as the substantiation behind the product claims, is accurate and factual. We will continue to promote the fuel-efficiency advantages of Michelin tires in future advertising.”
To save time and expense, Michelin and the Attorneys General decided to resolve the inquiry by agreement.
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 22,600 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in 17 locations.
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