Michelins profit margin proves there is a blind following. I'm in no way trying to discredit their track record. They make good tires. They are a safe bet. Where I get off the train is on price, tire selection (category), and my desire to have a 60k mile tire to last 3 years (possibly 4 since the pandemic, just not driving as much since).I doubt the price of Michelin's has a budgetary dependence on advertising given annual revenues upwards of $28 billion. Any more than the price of a can of Pepsi has any relation to it's advertising budget. It's a myth that you pay more just for the advertising.
More the opposite. Effective advertising increases market share, increases volume, lowers per unit operating expense. So if anything, per unit price is advantageously affected.
The Pilot is not a high performance vehicle and as far as i can tell, the Michelin Premiers on it now don't have me wishing they had better or higher performance in any handling aspect I dare or care to push the Pilot to.
I wanted a luxury tire with a smooth quiet ride and good tracking and stopping performance in wet weather, which we get plenty of here in Florida. I believe I got all I wanted and at a price I was willing to pay. Michelin is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, so I have to assume others feel the same way I do.
While I don't necessarily doubt that the Sumitomo is a good tire for the price, I don't think it is totally immune from the truism that you get what you pay for.
Michelin seems to want to push a rock hard 80-90k mile truck tire for our Pilots, or your thrown over into the touring tire category, giving you a cushy bouncing ride with less handling. I have no desire to pay $300‐400 extra for a set, just because of brand loyalty. Some of that loyalty is misplaced. Michelin is going to do what's best for Michelin. I'm going to do the same if that means buying tires from a factory in Japan. Michelin has no problem making their Defender LTX in Mexico. Since I now am caring for 8 vehicles (was 9). A savings of $300-400 times 8 vehicles by dropping the big 3 from my list, is proving to be the right course for us financially. I'm into 3 sets of Sumitomos on 2 vehicles for a savings of about $1,000. We often carry a large load in the Pilot.., wheelchair, luggage 4 passengers (5000lbs). The High Performance Sumitomo HTR A/S P02s inflated to 41psi hot make for an amazing safe ride for 75mph driving in a loaded Pilot. So far I'm winning with no regrets. I don't have a complaint. If I thought the road noise was bad, I'd say so. I know the road noise is significantly less since getting off the Bridgestone Duelers that were from the factory.