OSAKA, Japan (May 6)—Groupe Michelin has agreed to license its Pax run-flat tire/wheel system technology to Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., which will bring its Japanese sales and service network into the mix in anticipation of Japanese car makers' adopting the system in the future.
Toyo, the world's 10th largest tire maker, becomes the fourth Pax licensee, after Goodyear, Pirelli S.p.A. and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. Michelin also is discussing a Pax license with South Korea's Hankook Tire Co. Inc. Under the deal, Toyo gains rights to produce and market Pax systems for passenger cars and light trucks in original equipment and replacement tire markets in Japan.
Toyo has been developing its own run-flat tire, based on a reinforced-sidewall system, but said in a statement "the competitive superiority of the support-ring-type Pax system makes it a standard for future run-flat technology."
In its statement, Michelin said the agreement ties into plans by at least two Japanese car makers to equip models to be launched later this year with the Pax system.