The largest tire manufacturer in Europe and the second largest in the world, French company Michelin has been a leader of tire technology for over a century. Incorporated in 1888 by two brothers, André and Edouard Michelin who aspired to develop modern transportation solutions, their tireless pursuit was finally rewarded in 1891 with a first patent for removable pneumatic tires.
The company has come a long way since then, making numerous innovations to tires through the years. In 1934, they introduced the ‘run-flat tire’, which had a special foam lining that allowed the tire to keep running even when it had a puncture. In the 1930s Michelin bought the then bankrupt Citroën car manufacturing company and in 1946, they developed radial tires specifically for two front-wheel-drive Citroën models – the Citroën 2CV and the Citroën Traction Avant.
1988 saw the tyre and rubber manufacturing divisions of the American B.F. Goodrich Company being bought over by Michelin. One of the plants was the Norwood, North Carolina plant that supplied tires to the US Space Shuttle Program.
Today, Michelin has manufacturing plants in several countries around the world including France, the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Italy and Thailand.
Throughout its history, Michelin has had an extensive association with motorsport. In 2009, the company supplied tires for 41 of the 55 cars that competed in the Le Mans.