Two brothers, Edouard and Andre Michelin, ran a rubber factory in Clermont-Ferrand, France. One day, a cyclist whose pneumatic tire needed repair turned up at the factory. The tire was glued to the rim, and it took over three hours to remove and repair the tire, which then needed to be left overnight to dry. The next day, Edouard Michelin took the repaired bicycle into the factory yard to test. After only a few hundred metres, the tire failed. Despite the setback, Edouard was enthusiastic about the pneumatic tire, and he and his brother worked on creating their own version, one which did not need to be glued to the rim.
Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in more than 170 countries, has 112,300 employees and operates 68 production plants in 17 different countries. The Group has a Technology Center in charge of research, development and process engineering, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia. Michelin was incorporated on 28 May 1888. In 1891, it took out its first patent for a removable pneumatic tire.
Michelin has made a number of innovations to tires, including in 1946 the radial tire (then known as the "X" tire). It was developed with the front-wheel-drive Citron Traction Avant and Citron 2CV in mind. Michelin had bought the then bankrupt Citron in the 1930s. As of August 2008, this tire is still available for the 2CV. In 1988, Michelin acquired the tire and rubber manufacturing divisions of the American B.F. Goodrich Company founded in 1870. Two years later, it bought Uniroyal, Inc., founded in 1892 as the United States Rubber Company. Uniroyal Australia had already been bought by Bridgestone in 1980.
As of 1 September 2008, Michelin is again the world's largest tire manufacturer after spending two years as number two behind Bridgestone. Michelin produces tires in France, Germany, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Thailand, and several other countries.
Michelin is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing and marketing tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles/motorcycles, earthmovers, farm equipment and trucks. It also offers electronic mobility support services on ViaMichelin.com and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases.
Michelin Defender, Pilot, Primacy, LTX and Latitude model tires are available to buy now.