PARIS (April 24)—Groupe Michelin's sales rose 4.1 percent in the first quarter, to $3.43 billion, with the gain coming largely from better price/mix and currency exchange effects. Tire sales volume was up only about 1 percent, as declines in original equipment business in all product categories offset replacement market gains. Earnings were not released at this time. In North America, Michelin reported 2.8-percent higher passenger/light truck tire sales and 9.2-percent higher truck tire sales. The increase in truck tire sales is slightly misleading, the company said, because its business in the first quarter of 2001 was off considerably after it took a hard line on prices and sales suffered.