Following a rigorous testing regime by Germany’s TUV, the French manufacturer is claiming that its Primacy HP tyre gives at least 25% longer tread life than any other competitor, and that its “green” tyre runs for 54% longer than the worst competitor. In addition, Michelin claims the Primacy HP brakes as well in the wet after 10,000 kilometres as when brand new.
According to the company, the new Michelin Primacy HP tyres were compared to other premium brands in the 225/55R16 95W size. Tyres & Accessories has learnt that the other competing tyres were Bridgestone’s Turanza ER 300, Goodyear’s Excellence, the ContiSportContact 2 and the Pirelli P7. The tyres were tested at 10,000km in identical conditions on BMW 5-series saloons. The research was carried out in the third quarter of 2005 at the TUV Automotive Centre.
Michelin’s decision to publicise the direct comparisons with its competitors is something of a departure from the company’s previous European marketing tactics. However, company representatives say the news is just confirmation of the word-of-mouth knowledge that had already been circulating in the industry for some time. The manufacturer is now working on consumer and trade advertising campaigns based on the test results.
In terms of driving time, the percentages Michelin has quoted mean the nearest competitor’s tyre runs for 24 months on the road, while the Primacy HP runs for 30 months. Furthermore, Michelin claims that the Primacy will run for a full year longer than its worst competitor.
But why change tack and publish independent test results now? One reason could be the poor showing of the Michelin Energy E3A in last summer’s Auto Express tyre tests. On this occasion, Michelin’s tyre came 16th out of 19. Sources at Michelin told T&A that the TUV tests provided the opportunity to highlight Michelin’s strengths in wet braking and longevity. The company says research has found that consumers are most interested in these two areas.
The new Primacy HP tyre features a flexible casing with a rigid tread pattern, which is designed to give a bigger contact patch, Michelins says. According to the manufacturer this particularly improves braking in the wet where the tread design displaces water to reduce aquaplaning.
The new Michelin Primacy HP is designed for upper sector saloons such as the Mercedes C, E and S class, the BMW 1, 3 and 5 series and the Audi A4 and A6. The Primacy HP tyre is presently available in 16-,17- and 18-inch sizes in V, W and Y rating. Run-flat ZP (Zero Pressure) versions are also available.