Michelin Opens World’s First Manufacturing Plant To Build Revolutionary Airless Radial Tire

7381451-Tweel-Logo-2Piedmont, S.C., is site of new state-of-the-art facility making the MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® — a tire that never goes flat

Michelin recently opened its newest plant in North America, which will produce the innovative MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® Airless Radial Tire™ for commercial applications.

An idea first conceived by Michelin research engineers in the United States, the TWEEL is a revolutionary non-pneumatic tire that changed the configuration of a conventional tire, bringing together the tire and the wheel assembly into one solid unit. The TWEEL comprises a rigid hub connected to a shear beam by means of flexible, deformable polyurethane spokes, all functioning as a single unit.

New Tweel Plant

New Tweel Plant

Unlike conventional tires, the TWEEL has no air, thereby solving what had seemed to be the unavoidable challenge of chronic flat tires that plagues the landscape, construction, contracting, refuse/recycling and agricultural industries.

Tweel 1

“The TWEEL being built here in South Carolina is yet another dramatic example of Michelin’s long-standing commitment to breakthrough innovation,” said Pete Selleck, Michelin North America chairman and president. “The TWEEL concept was born at Michelin Americas Research Company in Greenville, S.C., one of Michelin’s three global technology centers, and now the Tweel will be manufactured right here in the Greenville area to satisfy a growing commercial market.”

The new plant gives Michelin the ability to boost output of its award-winning MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® SSL skid-steer tires and begin production of the new MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® TURFTM as original equipment for John Deere to equip its ZTRAKTM 900 Series line-up of zero-turn commercial mowers.

Tweel“Differentiating us from competitors, the TWEEL airless radial tire is the industry’s first commercialized airless radial solution and verifies Michelin’s leadership for the next generation of mobility,” said Ralph Dimenna, head of Michelin Tweel Technologies. “The TWEEL airless radial tire enables Michelin to enter new markets and expand its reach in existing business segments within the low-speed application category. The industry is hungry for solutions contributing to productivity, safety and bottom lines. Serving our customers is at the center of our strategy for success.”

The new 135,000 square-foot facility in Piedmont, S.C., represents Michelin’s 10th manufacturing facility in South Carolina and the 16th in the U.S. The company will invest about $50 million in the new plant.

“Michelin has been a global leader for over 125 years, and we are proud to say they have been part of the South Carolina family for over 40 years,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. “Michelin is a leader in the tire industry, and they are innovative in their product development, which continues to put South Carolina on the world stage.”

About MICHELIN® X® TWEEL®

Originally introduced as a concept at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, the X TWEEL is Michelin’s highly advanced airless radial tire and is the only commercial product available to offer the advantages of no maintenance, no compromise and no downtime. It performs with traditional radial tire technology but requires no air, thereby eliminating the risk of a “flat tire.” Desperate to find a solution to reduce their flat-tire downtime, many industrial users resort to alternatives that result in diminished traction, handling and ride comfort. The X TWEEL provides the advantages of no air pressure maintenance, easy mounting, damage resistance, increased operator comfort, reduced operator fatigue, improved productivity and longer wear life than pneumatic tires.

To learn more about the MICHELIN TWEEL, visit www.michelintweel.com

Wells Fargo Reports: Existing Home Sales Rise Again in October

Existing home sales rose 1.5 percent in October to a 5.26 million rate from an upwardly-revised 5.18 million unit pace in September. In typical cyclical fashion, listed inventories fell 2.6 percent to 2.22 million units.

Existing Home Sales Rise for Second-Straight Month

  •  Sales activity in the resale market continued to strengthen in October, increasing to its highest level this year. Distressed sales remained low in October, garnering just 9 percent of total sales. Despite fewer bargain homes in the market, all-cash transactions rose 3 percentage points to 27 percent in October. The share of first-time home buyers remained stuck at 29 percent for the fourth month in a row.

Mortgage Purchase Applications Firming

  •  Mortgage applications for the purchase of a home rose for the second-straight week in November following a string of weak readings in mid- to late October. For the week ending November 14, purchase applications hit its highest level since June. Normalization in lending standards and further strengthening in the labor market will be key drivers to an even more robust housing market in 2015.

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