Michelin expects its run-flat tire technology to grow to between 200,000 and 250,000 four-tire unit sales a year in Europe by 2005, according to an Automotive News report. So far, run-flat tires have been mostly confined to premium or luxury models, such as Audi's A6 and A8, BMW's Mini Cooper or the Rolls-Royce Phantom. But BMW's decision to make them standard on its new 1 series is a breakthrough in volume, says Michelin, which is one of the tire suppliers for the new entry-premium model to be launched in Europe. Run-flat tires allow a motorist to drive a car with a punctured tire up to 125 miles at a maximum speed of 50mph before repairing the tire. Nissan and Honda also plan to use Michelin's PAX run-flat tires but the Japanese carmarkers have not yet specified on which cars, the report said. In 2000, Michelin, Goodyear and Pirelli agreed to exchange run-flat technology and offer automakers multi-supplier deals to reduce their business risk. Bridgestone also manufactures run-flat systems.
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