Hi there, my injuries and whatever else that I had are pretty much gone, so hi!  Shall we get down to business and learn so more about Michelin? Sorry, I didn’t quite hear that! I thought you were ready…

In 1905, Michelin opened up it’s first official branch of business, Michelin Tyres, Ltd, in London, England.  Michelin also opened it’s first plant outside of France, in Turin, Italy.  This was just a baby-step compared to what Michelin has done over the past 100 years…

In 1907, Edouard travelled across the Atlantic for the first time, to open a plant in Milltown, New Jersey.  The plant remained in operation until 1931.  Three years later, Edouard published the first Michelin Road Map.  Just three years later (I’m beginning to notice a pattern here!), Michelin invented the detachable spare wheel (and tire), so I guess you can thank one of the world’s largest tire companies for inventing the spare wheel and tire.

In 1914, just weeks before WWI was declared, Edouard Michelin offered aircraft building services to the French government.  The first 100 planes were given free of charge to France; the rest were sold.  The total of planes that Michelin built during 1914, a whopping 1,884 units.  Two years later, Edouard got an idea into his head.  The idea was that there was a runway, very much like a concrete road, that could be used for planes to take off and land on.  Yet another useful invention.  Six days later, the world’s first concrete runway was built.

In 1923, the first low-pressure tire, the Michelin “Comfort” was invented.  It could go up to 15,000 kilometers without air needing to be added.  In 1925, Michelin bought 22,230 acres in Dautieng, Indochina, and 13,600 acres in Thuan Loi, Indochina to operate it’s own rubber plantations.

Three years later, in 1928, Edouard Michelin appointed his son, Ettienne Michelin vice-president of Michelin.  In 1929, Ettienne invented the “Micheline” railcar and the first train tire.  The following year, Edouard filed a patent for a tire with a built-in tube; the ancestor to the tubeless tire.  In 1930, Ettienne filed a patent for a tire with a built-in tube. This was the ancestor to the tubeless tire.  Just two years later, the Supercomfort tire was invented and it had a lifespan of 30,000 kilometers.  In 1933, the Bella Vista factory was built in Argentina to produce the Supercomfort tire.

In 1934, the Michelin “Stop!” tire introduced skid strips to the world.  Skid strips were strips built into the tire that helped the tire find traction on slippery roads.  The tire turned out to be a huge success.  in 1935, Michelin bought almost 95% of Citroën Motor Car Company.  Pierre Michelin (Edouard’s younger son) became CEO of Citroën, and appointed Pierre Boulanger vice president of Citroën.  Citroën also built the first prototype of what we now know as the Citroën 2CV.  Also, the Michelin run-flat tire was invented.  Today, many cars have run-flat tires for safety, as they can go for many thousands of miles with a leak and not endanger the driver and passengers in any way.

In 1940, Michelin took the name of Michelin Rubber Manufacturing, Ltd.  Five years later, the Clermont-Ferrand plant, bombed by Allied bombers in 1944, was rebuilt and modernized.  The following year, Michelin invented the radial tire.  Edouard Michelin (then almost 80) had filed one of his last patents on June 4, 1946.  Two years later, the Citroën 2CV was introduced at the Paris Auto Show.  Even though it took three years to iron out the kinks, Edouard Michelin had invented something amazing, the radial tire.  It was marketed under the name Michelin “X.”

In 1959, Michelin invented the first radial tire for earthmoving equipment (if you don’t believe me, call up the local equipment rental store and ask what type of tires they use on their largest equipment).  In 1965, the first Michelin tire testing center, the Ladoux was opened just a few minutes north of the Clermont-Ferrand plant.  Just three years later, the first Michelin Green Guide was published for a North American location; New York City.

in 1974, Michelin sold all its shares in Citroën to Peugeot.  Three years later, two new testing centers opened: one in Laurens, South Carolina, the other in Almeria, Spain.  Just two years later, Michelin was the main sponsor for Ferrari in the 1979 Formula One World Championship.  Ferrari won.

1981- Michelin invented the Michelin Air X, the first radial tire for aircraft.  This meant that aircraft no longer needed to have solid rubber tires, which meant that the aircraft could lose up to 200 pounds.  The following year, Michelin opened a new plant in Waterville, Nova Scotia, Canada.  The plant produces the Michelin Air X tire.  In 1990, Michelin bought the Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company, North America (Uniroyal Australia had been bought in 1980).  This ensured Michelin’s future in North America.

In 1991, Francois Michelin appointed his son, Édouard Michelin II co-managing partner.  Just four years later, Michelin saw a new plant open in Manila, Philippines.  Also, the Space Shuttle landed on Michelin tires the same year.

In 1998, Bibendum (the Michelin Man) celebrated his 100th birthday.  In honor of that, Michelin started the Challenge Bibendum.  Challenge Bibendum is an online global clean vehicle and sustainable mobility forum.  The following year, Michelin developed and started producing the Delta Radial performance motorcycle tire, which rivals Michelin’s finest modern-day racing tires in technology.

In 2003, Michelin developed the XeoBib; the first agricultural tire to run at a constant low pressure.  Seven years later, in 2010, Michelin was inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame, because of it’s 11 years of undisputed supremacy in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).  The same year, in honor of Michelin’s first road map being published, Michelin came out with an interactive DVD road map that is almost as interactive as using SiRi on a brand-new iPhone 4S.

Today, Michelin sponsors three racing teams, sponsors tires for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup,  has 23,000 authorized retail stores around the world, and employs well over 100,000 people.

7 thoughts on “I Just Can’t Seem to Stop Talking About Michelin!

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