Michelin NA Announces Plans for Major Environmental Vehicle Event and Conference

Michelin and SEMA plan conference in October 2001 to demonstrate advanced in alternative fuel vehicles.

Published: 31-Oct-2000

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Michelin North America, Inc. announced today it will hold a major international environmental event and conference in October 2001 to demonstrate advances in alternative fuel vehicles and the company's continuing commitment to the environment. Michelin also announced it is joining forces with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) which will co-host the event and conference at its 2001 SEMA Show - ITE.

The conclusion of the third "Michelin Challenge Bibendum" -- as well as a new environmental vehicle conference, a vehicle display for the public and an awards ceremony -- will be held in Las Vegas on Monday, Oct. 29, 2001 in conjunction with the opening of the 2001 SEMA Show - ITE.

With nearly 30 percent of its passenger vehicle tires featuring "green" technologies and its PAX System technology creating new advances in rolling resistance, Michelin is the tire industry's environmental leader. The company created the "Michelin Challenge Bibendum" in 1998 to highlight advances in auto industry environmental efforts and as a centennial tribute to "Bibendum," the world-famous Michelin Man.

"We are delighted that SEMA is joining with Michelin to bring this important environmental event to North America," said Michael Fanning, vice president of public relations and government affairs for Michelin North America. "The continuing development and refinement of new vehicle technologies and the sustainability of our resources is important to everyone's future."

"Hosting the finish of the 'Michelin Challenge Bibendum' and the complementary conference brings a whole new dimension to SEMA," said Charles R. Blum, president of SEMA. "We look forward to welcoming new manufacturers, suppliers, sponsors, participants and media to SEMA 2001, while providing our members, exhibitors and attendees with a first-hand look at these new technologies and opportunities for the future."

First held in France in September 1998, the "Michelin Challenge Bibendum" is a real-world test of environmental vehicles, providing performance measures of vehicle acceleration, handling, noise and fuel economy. Vehicles are also judged on interior and exterior design.

The second "Michelin Challenge Bibendum" was held in France this September, ending prior to the opening of the international Mondial Automobile Show in Paris. The event drew a field of 32 electric, solar, hybrid, fuel cell, diesel and natural gas powered entries from nearly all of the world's major vehicle manufacturers and top design houses. The event received extensive international coverage from media throughout the world.

The 2001 event marks the first time that the "Michelin Challenge Bibendum" will be held in North America.

The 2001 "Michelin Challenge Bibendum" will begin on Friday, Oct. 26 in Los Angeles with the performance stages to be held on Saturday, Oct. 27. Vehicles will arrive in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 28.

A public display of the vehicles will be held in conjunction with a conference featuring new vehicle technologies on Monday, Oct. 29. Vehicles will then be displayed at the 2001 SEMA Show - ITE at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Additional partners and program elements will be revealed in a series of announcements continuing through the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2001.

Michelin 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, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America, Inc. (www.Michelin.com) employs 26,500 and operates 21 plants in 19 locations.

The Special Equipment Market Association (SEMA) represents the $23.2 billion specialty automotive industry. The trade association is composed of more than 4,400 member companies nationwide, and is the authoritative source of research data, trends and market growth information for automakers and the specialty auto products industry. The industry itself provides appearance, performance, safety, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger cars, minivans, pickups, SUVs and recreational vehicles. It's a specialty market as old as the automobile and as new as today's cutting-edge technology.

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