Michelin, one of the world’s largest tiremakers, and Maxion Wheels, one of the world’s largest wheel manufacturers, received a 2018 CLEPA Innovation Award at this year’s European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) Innovation Award program. The jury recognized the two companies for their joint innovation efforts that resulted in the latest wheel invention, the ACORUS Flexible Wheel. Michelin and Maxion won third place in the “Cooperation” category during the June 13 award ceremony.
Pieter Klinkers, CEO of Maxion Wheels, who accepted the award on behalf of the two companies, said, “The automotive industry is undergoing a major transformation and collaboration is key to success in this fast-moving business environment. It not only strengthens and accelerates innovation, it enhances our knowledge and expertise. The ACORUS Flexible Wheel is the result of two global leaders pooling their know-how to deploy the MICHELIN ACORUS Technology into an innovative product for the passenger car market.”
Vincent Rousset-Rouvière, executive vice president of the Original Equipment business line for passenger car tires at Michelin, added, “Very early into the project, it became clear that we had to work together with Maxion Wheels and their wheel expertise, to bring this technology to the market quickly.”
Introduced at the IAA Cars 2017 in Frankfurt, the ACORUS Flexible Wheel is a newly designed wheel-tire combination built to withstand tough road conditions and keep drivers and passengers safe. The patented new technology incorporates two flexible rubber flanges mounted on a special wheel body to create a flexible wheel that improves driving comfort and absorbs impacts from potholes and curbs.
In addition to damage reduction, safety and improved mobility, the ACORUS Flexible Wheel has further benefits for the driver. While improving both comfort and noise levels, there also is an environmental benefit in using MICHELIN ACORUS Technology, according to the company. The Flexible Wheel is designed to work with any brand of tire, including low rolling resistance tires – meaning lower CO2 emissions and better fuel economy. The innovative wheel solution also means fewer damaged tires and wheels are being thrown away following pothole damage.
The CLEPA Innovation Awards, organized in cooperation with Deloitte and with the support of the Dutch member RAI, celebrate outstanding achievements in the European automotive supply industry in the fields of environment, safety, connectivity and automation and cooperation. For the first time, a special prize was awarded in each category to SMEs, acknowledging the important contribution of small and mid-sized companies to the industry’s resourcefulness, ingenuity and competitiveness.
For more information about the CLEPA Innovation Awards, click here.