from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

legal form Société en commandite par actions
ISIN FR0000121261
founding 1889
Seat Clermont-Ferrand , FranceFranceFrance 
management Florent Menegaux
Number of employees 121,300
sales EUR 24.1 billion 
Branch Tires , road maps , travel guides
Website michelin.com
Status: 2018

Michelin ( French [ miˈʃlɛ̃ ], full name: Manufacture Française des Pneumatiques Michelin , in Germany officially [mɪçəˈlin]) is a French tire manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in central France . The company employs 120,000 people worldwide and has sales organizations in over 170 countries. Production takes place in 68 plants in 17 countries on five continents. Michelin has test and development centers in Europe , the USA and Japan . The company is currently (as of 2018) the second largest tire manufacturer in the world in terms of sales. In addition to tires, Michelin sells road maps , hotel and travel guides as well as navigation devices ( Via Michelin ).


Michelin works
Michelin headquarters in
Clermont-Ferrand, France


On May 28, 1889, the brothers André and Édouard Michelin took over a rubber processing plant near the Place des Carmes, Clermont-Ferrand , and named it Michelin & Compagnie. They expanded it and, initially with 52 employees, produced industrial seals, rubber balls for children and brake blocks for carriages - the Michelin brothers' first product in the transport sector. The company's headquarters are still at the same location today. Two years later, while repairing a bicycle tire, Edouard Michelin had the idea for a replaceable pneumatic tire. He patented the idea and thus laid the foundation for the further development of the company. In the same year, the French professional cyclist Charles Terront won the first edition of the Paris – Brest – Paris cycling race on Michelin tires. In 1895 l'Eclair (the lightning) took part in a car race from Bordeaux to Paris and back as the first car on pneumatic tires . The car - an in-house design based on Peugeot and powered by a 4-hp Daimler engine - reached its destination within the time limit. The drivers changed tires on the way and were therefore disqualified - nevertheless, the everyday suitability of the invention by Édouard Michelin was proven.


In 1900, a year after the first Tour de France for automobiles and the Paris World Exhibition, the first Michelin Guide ( Guide Michelin ) appeared with a circulation of 35,000. The copies were distributed to drivers free of charge. Back then, the guide was not a travel guide, but a workshop guide with important information about the car and the tires.

In 1906, Ferenc Szisz won the world's first Grand Prix in a Renault . A technical innovation was important for the outcome of the race: the removable wheel rims from Michelin. The advantage: While the other racing drivers had to laboriously scrape the hot rubber residue off the rims with a knife before changing tires, Szisz and his co-driver exchanged the complete wooden wheels in barely four minutes. Away from the racetrack, the growing popularity of the car meant that the Michelin brothers expanded their main plant and by 1906 already employed 4,000 people. At the same time they founded Michelin Tire Co. Ltd. in London. and in Frankfurt am Main the Deutsche Michelin Pneumatik AG. The first plant in another European country was set up in Turin. The first plant in North America followed a year later in Milltown. In 1908 André Michelin finally opened his “route planning office” in Paris - here, travelers could find free information about routes in different countries. Shortly afterwards, in 1910, Michelin brought out the first road map . It was at this time that the idea of ​​recording the best and most popular travel routes in France in travel guides was born. The guides initially published for the regions of France formed the basis for the later Green Guide, which first appeared in 1926. During the First World War, Michelin was also active in aircraft construction, but after the end of the war it concentrated again on tire production.


In 1931, Michelin founded the first plant in Germany in Karlsruhe . In the same year, the company also set up its first company-owned rubber plantation in what was then Indochina . An important milestone was the Michelin X radial tire , which was sold from 1949 and opened up new markets for the company. Michelin was already selling its products in 140 countries in the early 1950s. In 1969 the tire manufacturer employed 81,000 people worldwide, 43,000 of them outside France. The radial tire invented by Michelin was also used in Formula 1 in 1978. The following year, Ferrari won the Formula 1 World Championship with Jody Scheckter on Michelin tires.


In 1981 Michelin became the majority shareholder of Kleber-Reifen. The company equipped an aircraft with radial tires for the first time - a Mirage III E of the French Air Force. In 1988, the US competitor Uniroyal Goodrich was acquired . In 1994 Boeing decided to equip the 777 with Michelin aircraft tires ex works. The American space shuttles also landed on Michelin tires. When it comes to car tires, Michelin increasingly focused on energy-saving measures and introduced fuel-efficient tires in 1992. In 1998, Michelin organized the Michelin Challenge Bibendum for the first time in Clermont-Ferrand, a forum for sustainable mobility in road traffic, which has since been held regularly on different continents.

2000 until today

With its subsidiary Euromaster , Michelin established its own tire trade in Germany , Austria and Switzerland . In 2005 and 2006, the tire manufacturer was also the tire partner of Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso . In 2006, however, he left Formula 1 . The reason was the rule change set by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), according to which standard tires from a single manufacturer must be used from the 2007 season .

On May 26, 2006, Édouard Michelin , descendant of the company founder of the same name and until recently managing director of the company, died in a boat accident near the Île de Sein . His partner in the management, Michel Rollier, headed the company from that point on. In 2011, Jean-Dominique Senard was appointed Rollier's successor. Senard started his job on May 10, 2012 as the first manager who did not come from the founding family. Florent Menegaux, previous board member, has been running the company since the shareholders' meeting in May 2019.

The company Symbio , which was founded in 2010 and manufactures fuel cell systems, was a subsidiary of Michelin until February 2019 and was converted into the joint venture Faurecia Michelin Hydrogen Company in March 2019 . Another subsidiary in the field of sustainable mobility is IMECA.


In France the company name is pronounced as miˈʃlɛ̃ . However, for marketing reasons , the pronunciation is adapted to different markets . For example, mɪçəˈlin is used in Germany , while the French pronunciation is used in Austria and Switzerland . In the USA and Canada one uses mɪʃəlin .

Michelin in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Michelin has been represented in Germany with its own sales company since 1906 and has been producing at the Karlsruhe location since 1931 , which is also the German headquarters. This is where the sales center and central administrative areas for Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as a plant for light truck tires are located. Karlsruhe is also the location of the Michelin Museum. In 1966 Michelin opened the Bad Kreuznach location , which was followed five years later by the Bamberg , Homburg and Trier plants . The logistics center for Germany is located in Landau in the Palatinate . There are around 5,730 jobs in production, sales, administration and logistics at the locations. In addition, there are around 2,380 employees at subsidiaries such as the tire dealer Euromaster and around 230 employees at the retreading company Laurent Reifen . In May 2006, Michelin Reifenwerke KGaA in Germany was renamed Michelin Reifenwerke AG & Co. KGaA.

There are no manufacturing locations in Austria and Switzerland, but there are sales warehouses.

Products from 1891 to the present day

Michelin is not only active in tire manufacture, but also sells road maps and navigation devices ( ViaMichelin ) as well as hotel and travel guides.


Michelin tires for a Bugatti Chiron

Michelin develops and produces tires for bicycles , scooters , motorcycles , passenger cars , vans, light trucks, trucks and buses for local and long-distance traffic, farm tractors , agricultural machinery, earthmoving machines, special vehicles, light rail vehicles such as the Paris Métro , aircraft , space shuttles , historical Vehicles of all kinds as well as competition and racing tires for almost all motor sport classes. The company maintains a large test site in Ladoux, where it tests its own products in extreme situations. The Mille Pattes , a five-axle special vehicle that was used for tire tests in the 1970s and 1980s , gained particular fame .

Product history begins with the replaceable pneumatic bicycle tire invented by Edouard Michelin . In 1891 Michelin applied for a patent for the removable pneumatic tire and soon there was a version for automobiles. The new tire increased driving comfort and traveling was enjoyable by the pneumatic tires a lot. In 1913 Michelin invented the demountable steel wheel and in 1923 the first low-pressure tire (2.5 bar) for cars, which already enabled a puncture-free mileage of 15,000 kilometers. In 1930 the patent for a tire with a vulcanized tube followed , the forerunner of the tubeless "tubeless" car tire that is common today. Also in 1930 the company developed the zigzag profile, which increased grip on the road. Further technical innovations followed: The "Super Comfort Stop" with its sipe profile enabled better grip on wet roads and the first low-profile tire called "Pilote" improved driving behavior at high speeds. In 1938 the first steel belt tire with steel wires to reinforce the tire came. In 1946 Michelin patented the first tire with a radial carcass, which went on sale from 1949 under the name "X" and marked a new industry standard. From 1955 onwards, most of the European automobile manufacturers adopted the concept of the radial tire. Gradually, Michelin reached numerous other vehicle types and markets in this way. At the same time, series production of the "tubeless" system began: a more robust, airtight rubber layer directly inside the tire replaced the air tube, which previously often caused dangerous sudden pressure losses. The successor to the “X” came onto the market in 1967 with the “ZX”. It enabled speeds of up to 180 km / h with greater safety. The next innovation finally followed in 1975: the TRX model , which combined tires and rims for the first time . In 1987 the radial tire was also introduced for motorcycles.

In 1992, after more than ten years of intensive research and development, Michelin achieved another breakthrough with the introduction of “green” tires with low rolling resistance. The rolling resistance of a tire has a direct influence on the fuel consumption of a vehicle: a fifth of the drive energy in a car is used to overcome the rolling resistance, in a truck it is even a third. Intelligent tire construction and the addition of silicon dioxide as a filler to the tire compound made it possible to reduce the rolling resistance of Michelin tires. Today, with the Michelin Energytm Saver + , the fifth generation of tires with optimized rolling resistance is on the market.

In 1995, the tire manufacturer in North America introduced the XH4 car tire , which had a mileage of 130,000 kilometers. A few years later, the Michelin PAX system followed : Even with defective tires, a vehicle can still travel 80 kilometers at a top speed of 80 km / h. Among other things, the system was used in the Bugatti Veyron . In 2001, Michelin introduced the four-meter earthmoving tire as its most important innovation: with a diameter of 4.03 meters and a width of 1.50 meters, it weighs 5,300 kilograms. With a load capacity of up to 99 tonnes, it is used on the largest dump trucks in the world. In addition, the Michelin X One truck tire represented a new alternative to twin tires and contributed to reducing emissions in production, costs in acquisition and fuel in operation. Another invention for truck tires was the patented anti- splash deflection contour, which reduces the spray water thrown up by commercial vehicles when it rains and improves safety on wet roads . In addition, with the Michelin XeoBib, an agricultural tire was released that can be constantly driven with an air pressure of just one bar, thus protecting the ground. In 2010 the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 summer passenger car tire and the Michelin Alpin A4 winter car tire came onto the market. Another well-known product in recent times is the Tweel tire-rim combination : The new tire construction works without air. The wheel and tire are connected to one another by means of flexible spokes. Without sacrificing comfort, the Tweel offers a high level of safety, as no sudden loss of pressure can occur. It is used in military vehicles and special vehicles for disaster control .

In 2016, Michelin took over the Brazilian two-wheel tire manufacturer Levorin, which produces 20 million tires and tubes every year.

Road maps and navigation

In 1910 the Michelin brothers decided to map their home country France . The detailed road maps should make traveling easier for motorists and help to further increase tire sales. With the first road map of France on a scale of 1: 200,000 in 1910 , André Michelin laid the foundation stone for the successful Michelin travel company, which shortly afterwards also produced road signs and travel guides and thus opened up new areas of business. Today Michelin sells road maps for 32 countries worldwide. In addition, the interactive travel portal “ViaMichelin” offers an online route planner as well as information on tourism, accommodation and gastronomy. Navigation devices and software are also sold through the portal.

Hotel and restaurant guide

In 1923 the Michelin Guide published hotel and restaurant recommendations for the first time. In the years that followed, Michelin stars were awarded for at least very good cuisine. The Michelin guides are now available in a wider selection than ever - whether as an iPhone application that shows the way to the nearest restaurant anywhere on the go , as a website (viamichelin.com) for convenient selection from home including online route planning or in book form . The printed edition of the series was over a million copies worldwide in 2015. The Michelin Guide - more correctly one should speak of the Michelin guides - consists of a series of 18 separate publications that cover over 20 countries (as of 2015). In 2016, Michelin acquired the Internet company Bookatable to lead the online restaurant reservation market in Europe.

Michelin Lifestyle Collection

Michelin sells automotive accessories ( snow chains , floor mats , wiper blades made of natural rubber , ice scrapers etc.), bicycle accessories (air pumps, repair accessories, drinking bottles, lighting etc.), sporting goods (tennis shoes and table tennis rackets) as well as gifts and collectibles (model cars, children's toys etc.) through its lifestyle collection .).

3D printing

In September 2015, the company announced that it would set up the joint venture Fives Michelin Additive Solutions in collaboration with the French company Fives Group . The aim of both groups is to advance research and developments in 3D printing with metal. Among other things, the production of molded parts for tire production is to be optimized. But it is also hoped that the rest of the automotive industry and other industries such as the healthcare sector will find buyers for the 3D printer.

The Michelin man

1894 saw the birth of the well-known Bibendum trademark , also known as the Michelin Man or the Michelin Man. Bibendum has been the company's trademark and important advertising medium ever since. In 2000, a Financial Times jury voted the Michelin man the best corporate logo of all time.


Michelin is involved in various areas such as the environment , structural aid and road safety . At the German locations, the company operates regional economic development (Michelin Development) with the aim of creating jobs in small and medium-sized companies. To this end, Michelin provides financial assistance, technical and human resources and advice in the cities or regions concerned. Together with the automobile clubs ADAC , ÖAMTC and TCS , Michelin is also committed to improving road safety.

Michelin Movin'on

Since 1998 the tire manufacturer has organized the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, mostly annually ; In 2017 the event was renamed Movin'On .

It is one of the world's largest forums for sustainable mobility, named after the Bibendum trademark . Car manufacturers and other players present technical solutions and concepts for sustainable mobility in road traffic. The aim of the event is to lower the energy consumption of vehicles, minimize CO 2 emissions, reduce noise pollution, reduce the number of accidents and improve the flow of traffic.


Michelin now pays attention to environmentally friendly production and ecological raw material extraction. The company reduces its CO 2 emissions by using renewable energies such as solar energy and wind power . At the German locations in Karlsruhe , Homburg , Bad Kreuznach and Bamberg as well as the Landau logistics center , Michelin has worked with partners to realize one of the world's largest roof solar projects. In Bad Kreuznach, the company also operates a plant for combined heat and power and a Konditherm plant for energy recovery from process steam.

In addition, the company's researchers and developers are constantly working on reducing the rolling resistance of the tires. Lower rolling resistance helps to save fuel. The longer service life of the tire also saves raw materials. Since November 2012, consumers across Europe have been informed about the safety and environmental properties of car and truck tires with a standardized label.

However, the company has also come under fire because of the deforestation of rainforests: In 1995, the company was criticized in Nigeria for clearing rainforest in order to meet the increased demand for tires with additional rubber plantations. Likewise in India, where the local population protested for two years in 2014 against the construction of the Michelin factory in Thervoy Kandigai and the associated deforestation of the community forest. In order to establish the most environmentally and socially compatible production possible, Michelin has implemented numerous environmental measures at the site and launched local development programs.

In order to ensure that the tire industry's high demand for rubber is ecologically sustainable, Michelin has committed itself to protecting natural resources and promoting the cultivation of rubber trees (Hevea). The company grows Hevea plants on almost 21,000 hectares in Brazil and Nigeria. As part of the agricultural program, the plantations operate their own farms and also grow crops such as cocoa and bananas.

Since 2015 there has been a partnership with WWF to promote the sustainable production of natural rubber, which was extended by four years in 2019.

Web links

Commons : Michelin  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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