News

Why I will never drive with any tyre other than Michelins

Sometime ago, I was there to do a routine tyre tune up and noticed two white folks examining tyres and prodding around. So I picked up a conversation and asked what they were doing. And I was absolutely shell shocked to find out that one of them was the Head of Michelin, Germany, and the other, an even bigger man in Michelin - Jacques Cambazar, the director of Quality, Michelin.

BHPian thirdmainroad recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I believe that tyres are an extremely important aspect when it comes to safety, and I think Michelins are in a position to offer the best possible tyres - being the biggest tyre manufacturer in the world and also with how much of money and effort they put into R and D.

Having driven with other tyres; MRFs, Yokohama's, Apollos, I find Michelins offer far better grip control.

But here's the biggest thing that made me a customer for life:

There's a tyre shop called Mahendra Tyres in Vannanthurai, Besant Nagar, Chennai. They have been there for decades and who I go to for replacing tyres. The shop is nothing overly fancy, and is in an almost obscure part in South Chennai. But they are an authorized dealer for Michelin, and they do give the best prices and good advice when it comes to tyre. So they have a good following and do good business.

Sometime ago, I was there to do a routine tyre tune up and noticed two white folks examining tyres and prodding around. So I picked up a conversation and asked what they were doing. And I was absolutely shell shocked to find out that one of them was the Head of Michelin, Germany, and the other, an even bigger man in Michelin - Jacques Cambazar, the director of Quality, Michelin! A later google search on him revealed a lot more information - including pictures of him with top F1 team managers and what not.

I mean how cool is that? The Director Of Quality, Michelin, prodding around a small tyre shop in Vannanturai, Chennai, investigating quality!! I doubt any local manufactures like Apollo or MRF has ever bothered to be poking around tyre shops in India getting feedback and would instead send low level interns or such - but here on the other hand..

This and more, is what makes Michelin the world's best tyre manufacturer and our safest and best buy!

Here's what GTO had to say about the matter:

Nice to see this kind of attention-to-detail, thanks for sharing! Big fan of Michelins here, they remain my no.1 tyre brand. Be it the Pilot Sports range or the LTX I had on my Jeep. Totally worth the premium pricing. However, in my experience, they don't last as long as the Indian brands. That's a fair tradeoff for the kind of performance they offer.

Here's what BHPian Iyencar had to say about the matter:

Full marks to the top guys for making it to a small shop. However, that doesn't automatically mean an MRF or an Apollo hasn't bothered to "poke around". There are some truly crap tyres out there but dissing entire brands is a disservice. I for one am very happy with the MRF ZLXs on my car. Find them extremely well suited for bad road conditions, yet I wouldn't recommend the ZVTVs to anyone. For my use the ZLX is the safest and best buy, but if someone runs their car all day long on good roads, I have no hesitation recommending Michelin as superior. Point is, let's not get too carried away.

Here's what BHPian Lalvaz had to say about the matter:

I can see that you're a very satisfied Michelin customer and I wish you many miles of safe driving, however there are many errors in your post. Michelin tyres are a soft compound tyre. They cannot outlast a hard compound tyre. Apollo and MRF (most variants) are harder compounds and will easily outlast the Michelin by a huge margin.

All companies do market research, and that involves interacting with the customers in various ways. Unknown to you, many senior executives routinely have customer touch points. This is true for all industries, and in all countries.

While its good to know that the Michelin senior management did do a market visit in Chennai, it is ridiculous to assume that others don't do it. Its even more ridiculous to use that flawed argument, to then assert that a market visit makes them the world's best tyre manufacturer, and our safest and best buy. Like seriously, if this isn't known as "Jumping to conclusions", what is ?

I actually like Michelin and think its a good tyre. However, I just can't agree with the flawed logic that a market visit by senior leadership makes them the best in the world, the best buy, the most durable tyre. Whatever happened to common sense?

Here's what BHPian saket77 had to say about the matter:

I have had Michelin XM1+ (made in Thailand) on my Zen. Grip wise, they were good but after a few years and 12K kms, they started spitting on the circumference in between the treads. All four of them. Some dismissed this and put it down to lower usage of mine. Mind you, no sidewall cracks whatsoever.

However, my usage pattern is same as ever and I’m on my third set of wheels on the zen and second set on the Civic. None except Michelin failed prematurely and in this way.

Here’s my experience: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

A few months later, I spotted a set of XM1+ on an Alto in my apartment parking. The owner was well known to me. He told that he had covered about 35K kms in 3 years and the condition of tires were just like mine. Splitting/ cracking in between treads. There went the theory of low usage down the drain. The Michelin dealer was highly uncooperative, so I decided no Michelins again. I understand that XM1s has issues on that front. Or a bad batch. Or a rejected foreign dump. But that experience was enough for me to move away from Michelins permanently. There are Pirellis and yokos available which I’m pretty happy to use. In fact the tyre dealer from whom I got my replacement tyres told clearly that this was a manufacturing defect.

It doesn’t mean that not having Michelins on your car is like it’s end of the world. Lots of equally good or even better options are available with better service.

Here's what BHPian ABHI_1512 had to say about the matter:

When someone says fact, then they should corroborate the fact with figures as well. There is no fact which states that Michelin tyres will outlast MRF’s by a huge margin or so. While I am no fan of any particular tyre brand in particular, over the years my experiences have been very good with MRF, Bridgestone and Yokohama.

To put things in perspective, my MRF ZVLS tyres on the Ecosport ran for almost close to 90k kms in 5 years and they were practically puncture resistant due to their hard compound and I had driven those across rocky terrains as well as city drives. I really doubt whether Michelins will be able to withstand the boulder laden road to Bumla Arunachal Pradesh !! So to say what you said is little devoid of facts. DBHPian Saket has clearly shared his experiences and going by that, Michelin might count as the worst tyre company around, but that’s not the case, since singling out a company for a bad product is not judicious at all.

While it’s a good drill to inspect the products and it was nice of the Michelin officials from abroad to do what they were doing, but brands across segments, I am sure do the same. One of my friend is from Bridgestone and I have heard stories of how the Japanese top executives were particular about the brand value addition and all.

Going by the contention that since top executives were visiting some obscure shop, that means the product is devoid of any faults. I can understand the member’s view here but to generalise is the worst trait going around the country right now.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 

 
Love Cars Live Cars