A car tyre is round and black. Quite simple. But if you take a closer look, you will see that the structure of a modern MICHELIN radial tyre is very complex.
For over 130 years, Michelin has been extremely successful in a highly competitive market. What makes this traditional company so strong? It is the ability to decisively shape change at all times. To this end, the company invests around 700 million euros annually in research and development.
1889-1900: Creativity and innovation for a company still in its infancy
1889 Edouard Michelin takes over the rubber goods and agricultural machinery factory founded in 1832 by Aristide Barbier and Edouard Daubrée in Clermont-Ferrand and renames the company Michelin et Cie.
1891 Michelin develops the first removable bicycle tyre.
1898 A star is born: the Michelin Man! The title of the first advertising poster reads "Nunc est bibendum" (Now is the time to drink!) - hence the name Bibendum, or Bib for short, for the Michelin Man.
1900 sees the publication of the first MICHELIN Guide, today the most famous restaurant guide in the world
became world famous in a very short time: the first Michelin Guide is free for motorists
1901-1945: Diversification from the start
1906 Michelin opens its first factory outside France in Turin (Italy).
1907 The company sets up a plant in Milltown, New Jersey (USA).
1910 The first MICHELIN road map is published, a prototype of Clermont-Ferrand and its surroundings.
1913 Michelin invents a steel wheel to replace the previous wooden wheels. Much easier to use and repair, it allows the use of the spare wheel.
1922 Michelin commissions the market study "The National People's Automobile Survey". The aim is to produce a new, more versatile and above all affordable automobile. The result is the Citroën 2 CV.
1935 Michelin acquires a majority stake in the French car manufacturer Citroën, which the company holds until 1975.
1937 Michelin invents the first tyre with a steel carcass for trucks: the METALIC
1946-1989: Other research and development milestones
1946 Michelin files a patent for the revolutionary "radial" tyre. It is safer, more durable, more comfortable, more resistant and more economical than previous cross-ply tyres. The groundbreaking technology begins its triumphal drive around the world.
1952 Michelin adapts its radial technology to truck tyres.
1964 Michelin presents the MICHELIN XM+S series, the first heavily coated winter tyres, specially designed for vehicles that frequently travel in rough terrain, in all weathers and on all types of surfaces.
1965 Michelin inaugurates its Ladoux test and research centre north of Clermont-Ferrand.
1975 Michelin opens its first US radial tyre manufacturing plant in Greenville, South Carolina.
1978 The first radial tyre for agricultural vehicles, the MICHELIN Bib X, is launched.
1979 Formula 1: After an impressive track record of 102 victories, 5 drivers' titles and 4 constructors' titles, Michelin decides to retire from Formula 1.
1981 Michelin develops the MICHELIN X Air, the first radial tyre for aircraft.
The tyre manufacturer Kléber becomes part of the Michelin Group.
1987 Michelin launches its first radial tyre for motorbikes.
1990-2014: Growth in Michelin's second century of history
1990 Acquisition of the Uniroyal-Goodrich Tire Company. This gives the Michelin Group the critical size to secure its future in North America.
1992 Addition of silica to the rubber creates the first "green tyre", the MICHELIN MXN.
1996 Opening of production facilities in the Chinese province of Shenyang.
2000 The Financial Times names the Michelin Man the best brand name of all time.
2001 Creation of ViaMichelin. The free digital services give users all the useful information they need to prepare their trips. The digital offering for travellers now includes the six free apps MICHELIN MyCar, MICHELIN Navigation, ViaMichelin, MICHELIN Restaurants, MICHELIN Hotels and MICHELIN Travel.
2003 Michelin develops its patented MICHELIN Ultraflex technology for agricultural tyres, enabling farmers to generate higher yields and therefore higher profits.
2007 The MICHELIN Earthmover Management System is launched. It is the first intelligent tyre pressure and temperature monitoring system for over-the-road use. In the following years, Michelin develops other networked fleet management solutions: For example, the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip, MICHELIN EFFIFUEL TM, which helps fleets of trucks and trailers with more than 220 vehicles to control and reduce their fuel consumption, and MICHELIN EFFITRAILER TM for semi-trailers.
2010 The MICHELIN Protek Max bicycle inner tube seals itself after a puncture.
2012 The MICHELIN Energy TM E-V, specially developed for electric vehicles, receives the best A rating in Europe for wet braking and energy efficiency performance.
2013 Michelin presents the world's largest tractor tyre, the MICHELIN AxioBib IF900/65/R46.
2014 All Formula E Series electric cars run on MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV tyres.
Michelin acquires SASCAR, the leading Brazilian digital fleet management (33,000 managed fleets, 190,000 trucks) and freight security company. This move will allow Michelin to expand its service offering to shipping companies and accelerate the growth of its truck business in Brazil.
2015-today: Mobility of the future
2015 The MICHELIN CrossClimate is launched. It is the world's first summer tyre approved for winter use.
The Michelin Group and Fives join forces to create FIVES MICHELIN ADDITIVE SOLUTIONS. This makes Michelin a major player in 3D metal printing.
2017 Movin'On: Michelin organises the first global sustainable mobility summit in Montreal and presents its revolutionary Vision Concept tyre prototype. Michelin Group CEO Florent Menegaux explains, "Our strategic model is based on innovation, leverages our expertise and relies on four core activities: tyres, mobility-related services & solutions, unique hospitality and travel experiences, and high-tech materials."
2018 To mark the company's 120th anniversary, the Michelin Man is named Icon of the Millennium during Advertising Week in New York.
Michelin acquires Canadian company Camso. The strategic partnership makes the Group the world leader in off-road products/terrain tyres.
2019 The MICHELIN Uptis is the first tyre that never runs out of air! It embodies the starting signal for a new chapter in tyre technology for a sustainable future. The Uptis is a pioneer in climate protection and also virtually puncture-proof, maintenance-free, comfortable and sporty. It is already considered a technological revolution, with series production planned for 2024.