TOKYO (Aug. 2)—Honda Motor Co. will equip its redesigned Odyssey minivan, to be launched this fall, with Michelin's Pax run-flat tire/wheel system, according to Honda sources, who did not say whether the run-flat tires would be standard or optional equipment.
The minivan, produced in Lincoln, Ala., will be the first Honda fitted with run-flat tires. Honda sold 154,063 Odysseys in the U.S. in 2003, an increase of 0.4 percent over 2002.
The Pax system, launched by Groupe Michelin in 1998, allows a tire to run flat for more than 120 miles at 50 mph. Michelin said the tire never rolls off the rim, even when it deflates suddenly. The package includes a tire, a wheel, a flexible support ring inside the tire and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Using a run-flat tire for the Odyssey makes sense, said Tsunemi Tachibana, analyst at Nikko City Group in Tokyo. "It provides a sense of security, which is key for a family car."