Acorus wheel to debut next year
The Acorus wheel, which Michelin and Maxion Wheels first presented as a prototype at the IAA 2017 motor show in Frankfurt, is coming to market next year. Michelin announced the flexible wheel solution’s commercial launch at the China International Import Expo (CIIE), which opened in Shanghai on 4 November.
Michelin shares that a major car manufacturer submitted a purchase order for Acorus in 2019 with the intention of offering it as an original equipment option in the Chinese market from 2021. According to Maxion Wheels, Acorus will premiere on a “premium SUV”.
The patented technology, developed by Michelin and Maxion Wheels for the passenger car wheel market, incorporates two flexible rubber flanges mounted on a specially-adapted wheel body to create a flexible wheel that improves the ride and comfort and also absorbs impacts from potholes and kerbs. Acorus is compatible with almost all tyres on the market and consists of an alloy rim (which is narrower than normal), two rubber flanges and an optional cosmetic insert to protect the alloy wheel.
Michelin commits to CIIE for 4 years
Michelin announced Acorus’s debut during the China International Import Expo. This year is the tyre maker’s first time at the show, but it won’t be the last. Under a memorandum signed with the CIIE organising committee on 26 July, Michelin has committed to participating in the annual event from 2021 to 2023. Kamran Vossoughi, president and chief executive officer of Michelin China, shares that Michelin registered in January for this year’s event in spite of the pandemic.
Speaking with China Daily, Vossoughi described the CIIE as a major move by China to further open its market and an important and exciting platform for international companies. “For Michelin, we can demonstrate rich offerings beyond tyres. Of course, we will find new business opportunities and potential business partners through the expo.
“In China, sustainability has become a common need of governments, businesses and individuals. We hope to provide more sustainable offers through our know-how in smart mobility and green mobility,” the president and chief executive officer added.
Emerged from corona stronger
The coronavirus epidemic has brought many changes and uncertainties to the market, but Michelin reports that its business in China has proven resilient and recovered quickly. “We came out of this outbreak stronger than when we entered it,” shared Vossoughi, adding that since March, Michelin has stabilised its business and achieved good sales results, which has boosted its confidence in the future. “With the further recovery of the Chinese auto market in the second half of 2020, Michelin’s business will continue to develop at a fast pace.”
While economies in Europe and North America continue to be battered by lockdowns and other restrictions, China’s economic recovery has accelerated since the country announced bringing the pandemic under control. Vossoughi said there are many forces behind this acceleration, noting that supportive government policy is extremely significant here.