Michelin Company History Timeline

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Michelin was incorporated on 28 May 1889.

While running a rubber factory in 1889, two brothers, Édouard Michelin and André Michelin had a cyclist show up at their door with a damaged pneumatic tire.

The Michelin Group was officially founded in 1889 when Edouard Michelin, the company’s founder, acquired a rubber factory that specialized in products for farm equipment.

In 1889 two brothers, Édouard Michelin and André Michelin, ran a rubber factory in Clermont-Ferrand, France.


What if the brothers could make a removable tire? Well, in 1891, Michelin put forward its first patent for a removable pneumatic tire.

Michelin began working to develop new types of tires—even inventing the first detachable bicycle tire in 1891.

In 1891, it took out its first patent for a removable pneumatic tyre which was used by Charles Terront to win the world’s first long distance cycle race, the 1891 Paris–Brest–Paris.

In 1891 Michelin took out its first patent for a removable pneumatic tyre which was used by Charles Terront to win the world's first long-distance cycle race, the 1891 Paris–Brest–Paris.


Two years later, it bought Uniroyal, Inc., founded in 1892 as the United States Rubber Company.


To show that demountable pneumatic tires could be used successfully on motor vehicles, the Michelins equipped a car with such tires held onto the rims by bolts and entered and drove it in the 1895 Paris–Bordeaux road race.


And in 1898 they introduced the world to Bibendum, known widely as The Michelin Man.


And to think it all started in 1900 with the idea of incentivizing driving.

The first Red Guide (1900), an aid to travel in France, was a pocket-size, alphabetical listing of French towns of interest that were large enough to contain hotels and garages.


The company established its first foreign plant at Turin, Italy, in 1906 and today operates facilities in a number of countries.


It wasn’t until 1926 Michelin started handing out ‘stars’ to the restaurants, and it wasn’t until a decade later that they solidified their three-star system.


In 1934, Michelin introduced a tyre which, if punctured, would run on a special foam lining, a design now known as a run-flat tyre (self-supporting type).


Michelin has made a number of innovations to tyres, including in 1946 the radial tyre (then known as the “X” tyre). It was developed with the front-wheel-drive Citroën Traction Avantand Citroën 2CV in mind.

Michelin developed and patented a key innovation in tyre history, the 1946 radial tyre, and successfully exploited this technological innovation to become one of the world's leading tyre manufacturers.


In 1948 Michelin was the first to introduce steel-belted radial tires.


Michelin was reorganized as a holding company in 1951, with interests in tires, other rubber products, and synthetic rubber.


In the United States, the outdated bias-ply tyre persisted, with market share of 87% in 1967.


Also in 1968, Consumer Reports, an influential American magazine, acknowledged the superiority of the radial construction, setting off a rapid decline in Michelin's competitor technology.


In addition to the private label and replacement tyre market, Michelin scored an early OEM tyre win in North America, when it received the contract for the 1970 Continental Mark III, the first American car with radial tyres fitted as standard.


Michelin first competed in the 1977 Formula One season, when Renault started development of their turbocharged F1 car.


Uniroyal Australia had already been bought by Bridgestone in 1980.


Michelin introduced radial tyre technology to Formula One and won the Formula One Drivers’ Championship with Brabham, before withdrawing in 1984.


Toyota joined F1 in 2002 with Michelin tyres, and McLaren also signed up with the company.


Michelin tyres were initially uncompetitive but by the 2005 season were totally dominant.


The last race won on Michelin tyres in Formula One was the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso benefitting after the Ferrari engine of Michael Schumacher failed during the race.


In 2007, Casey Stoner on Bridgestone tyres won the world championship in dominating fashion, and Valentino Rossi and other top riders complained that Michelins were inferior.


As of 1 September 2008, Michelin is again the world’s largest tyre manufacturer after spending two years as number two behind Bridgestone.

As of 1 September 2008, Michelin is again the world's largest tyre manufacturer after spending two years as number two behind Bridgestone.

Rossi wanted Bridgestones for the 2008 season, but Bridgestone was reluctant to provide them; Dorna threatened to impose a control tyre on the series, after which Bridgestone relented.

Michelin criticised the FIA’s intention to move to a single source (i.e. one brand) tyre from 2008, and threatened to withdraw from the sport.


On 15 January 2010, Michelin announced the closing of its Ota, Japan plant, which employs 380 workers and makes the Michelin X-Ice tyre.


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In December 2018, Michelin acquired Camso, a manufacturer of off-the-road tyres, tracks, and accessories for power sports, agriculture, material handling and construction markets.

Michelin had $22 (24.5 USD) billion Euros in sales in 2018.


In 2019, Michelin announced that plants in Germany and France are to be closed soon.

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