By Patrick Raleigh, ERJ On-line news editor
Osaka, Japan-Groupe Michelin is to licence its PAX System runflat tyre technology to Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd of Osaka. The Japanese fim becomes the fourth PAX licencee after Pirelli SpA, Goodyear and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.
Under the deal, Toyo gains rights to produce and market PAX systems for passenger cars and light trucks in OE and replacement tyre markets in Japan.
Toyo has been developing its own run-flat tyre, based on a reinforced-sidewall system-a technology, which is being championed by its Japanese rival Bridgestone Corp.
However â€œthe competitive superiority of the support ring type PAX System makes it a standard for future run-flat technology,â€ said a 6 May Toyo statement. .
â€œThe agreement with Toyo will accelerate the adoption of PAX System at a time when the technology is beginning to become established in the marketâ€ said Herve Coyco, a member of Michelin's executive board, in a statement from the French group.
â€œThe agreement enables Toyo to acquire the most advanced runflat technology and so gain a significant competitive advantage,â€ added Toru Matsuo, Toyo's vice president, in the same statement.
Pic: Michelin PAX system as featured on an Audi model.