The tire harvest

RADIO COMMENTARY
Edward Lapham is editor of Automotive News

Oct. 9 -- It must be a sign of the times that BMW and Ford plan to use Goodyear tires made from corn.

No jokes, please. This is serious.

The BioTred tires, which use a polymer derived from corn starch, have been sold as replacement tires in Europe for two years. Now, they'll be original equipment on a couple of models in Europe.

Goodyear says the new tires are an improvement over conventional tires. The company says they reduce pollutants in the manufacturing process plus cut fuel consumption by 5 percent.

It also claims the corny compound reduces the likelihood of aquaplaning, improves wet braking by 10 percent and cuts rolling noise by half.

And when they wear out, you just plant them. Sorry. I couldn't resist just one joke.

You can reach Edward Lapham at elapham@crain.com

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