GREENVILLE, S.C. (Nov. 18)—Michelin Retread Technologies Inc., hoping to expand the sales of retreads from its franchisees, is opening up the distribution channel for Michelin retreads to dealers who sell new Michelin truck tires. To effect the strategy, MRTI has created a Michelin Retread Associate Dealer Program, which allows Michelin new tire dealers to sell and service Michelin retreads and tap into MRTI's marketing support. Up to now, only MRTI franchisees were authorized to sell Michelin retreads. The new program could expand MRTI's distribution network to as many as 1,500 points from 200, the company said. MRTI is launching the associate dealer program at a time when demand for Michelin retreads is rising. Michelin claims the combined market share for MRTI franchisees for the first nine months of 2002 was up 16.1 percent over the same period a year ago.