Michelin’s Interactive “Tour de Force” Exhibit Cruises Across the Country

Auto Enthusiasts To Experience Michelin Traveling Exhibit Through Simulators, Games and Displays
Aug. 1st 2002

GREENVILLE, S.C. – In its second year, the Michelin Tour de Force, an interactive traveling exhibit of Michelin North America, Inc., is hitting the road traveling to 16 cities over the course of the summer.  The Tour de Force gives consumers across the country the opportunity to participate in such activities as experiencing virtual reality, playing video and trivia games, viewing a Formula One show car and entering to win a driving school sweepstakes. 

“The main goals of the Michelin Tour de Force are to communicate with consumers, answer their questions, listen to their concerns and share the wealth of knowledge we’ve built up in our        104-year history,” said Amanda Head, marketing manager for Michelin brand.  “We want to show people that Michelin quality and innovation translate into real benefits for their vehicles, plus demonstrate the important role tires play in driving security and performance.”

The Michelin Tour de Force contains more than 1,200 square feet of exhibit space housed in two 53-foot-long tractor-trailers.  The Display Trailer contains a “Performance Wall” highlighting different tires and their unique construction, including racing slicks, snow tires and a tire from the space shuttle. All demonstrate the obsessive engineering that goes into all the company's products, including the passenger and light truck tires on the family car, truck or van.  High impact video and audio displays highlighting Michelin’s performances in F1, endurance, World Rally and motorcycle racing are also included.  Visitors will also receive the opportunity to participate in video games and trivia questions about Michelin’s history and the famous Michelin Man™.

In addition, the Display Trailer features a personal theater where visitors engage in virtual reality experiences from mountain biking to auto racing.  Speed junkies are able to sit in a racing seat, don video goggles and virtually experience a racetrack from a driver’s perspective in the seat of a rumbling racecar. 

The two-story Academy Trailer hauls a Formula One show car on its top level, while its bottom level highlights the evolution of the Michelin Man. Visitors are able to enter to win the Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School Sweepstakes where 10 consumers will receive a two-day driving class at one of four Skip Barber infield facilities across the country. There will also be free registration for an invitation to participate in the Michelin 2003 Driving Experience, which includes demonstrations of Michelin products through hands-on activities.  

The Michelin Man travels with the Michelin Tour de Force, meeting and greeting visitors at each event and inviting people to have their digital pictures taken as a memento. Pictures are accessible from Michelin’s Web site, http://www.michelinman.com.

 “The Michelin Tour de Force will show how many of Michelin’s famous innovations were born on the track,” said Head.  “In fact, no other tire manufacturer is as actively involved in so many forms of world-class motor sports as Michelin.”

The Michelin Tour de Force will be stopping in the following cities: Birmingham, Ala., Cincinnati, Montreal, Washington, D.C., Pontiac, Mich., Battle Creek, Mich., Cleveland, Asheville, N.C., Seattle, Monterey, Calif., San Francisco, Reno, Nev., San Diego, Indianapolis, Wilmington, N.C. and Dallas. 

The winner of 32 J.D. Power Awards for Customer Satisfaction, Michelin manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and space shuttles. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs 25,900 and operates 23 plants in 19 locations.

Katie Frommelt  (312) 297-7555