PARIS, FRANCE (Jan. 27, 2009) The new Michelin® XHA®2 loader tire, introduced in early January at the Intermat trade show™s press days, has been designed to accomplish three goals”reduce hourly operating costs, ensure that work continues smoothly and safely, and improve operator working conditions. The tire is intended for loaders in quarries and cement plants and on construction and infrastructure worksites. The Michelin XHA2 tire will be officially unveiled at the Intermat 2009 building and construction trade show in April 2009. The tire will be available in replacement markets around the world beginning in May 2009.


Robustness is one of the fundamental qualities of the Michelin XHA2 tire, helping to make the tire a powerful performance driver on any worksite. In order to understand the importance of the tire, remember that the Michelin XHA2 tire is designed to fit wheel loaders: these vehicles often operate on rough terrain where they must move heavy loads as quickly as possible. If a tire fails to perform during this critical phase of operations, the worksite comes to a halt, which is why the Michelin XHA2 tire was designed as a strong link in the entire chain of quarry, construction or industrial worksite operations. To achieve this result, Michelin integrated three technologies in its new tire:

¢     Additional rubber has been incorporated in the tread, making the tire even more damage-resistant.

¢     The sidewalls have been strengthened with a special protective rib and anti-scrape shields.

¢     Michelin has developed crack absorbing rubber compounds that help to prevent flats.


The Michelin XHA2 tire delivers both durability and robustness. The tire lasts up to 9 percent longer than its predecessor, the Michelin® XHA® tire, which is currently the benchmark tire on major worksites around the world, including quarries, cement plants, construction sites and infrastructure projects. Thanks to its exceptional durability, the Michelin XHA2 tire helps to reduce operating costs, thereby improving the company™s bottom line. This means that a tire purchase should be seen as a good investment.


In addition to its durability, the Michelin XHA2 tire provides another advantage: its superior traction helps get the job done faster. The tread improves traction and makes the tire self-cleaning”expelling earth caught between tread blocks”while reducing temporary losses of grip. This optimized traction reduces rolling resistance and therefore fuel consumption. The Michelin XHA2 tire™s patented tread design dramatically reduces vibrations that can be felt by operators and damage mechanical components. Additionally, the tire reduces the oscillations caused by heavy loads and frequent changes of direction thanks to its larger contact patch.


The Michelin XHA2 tire also features a new casing that further enhances its value. This robust underlying structure makes the tire easier to retread, thereby generating additional cost-savings for companies. It also benefits society as a whole since a retread tire produces less waste and requires fewer raw materials.


The tire will be available in the original equipment market in 2010. The tire will be available in four sizes for the replacement market as follows:

¢     Size 26.5R25 in May 2009

¢     Size 23.5R25 in July 2009

¢     Size 29.5R25 and 20.5R25 in 2010


Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America ( employs more than 22,300 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in 17 locations.

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