Every year Michelin invests about 600 million euros in research and development. This fact, together with sound financial planning, should enable Michelin to weather the storm that is currently hitting businesses. At an innovation day, held at Michelin’s Ladoux technology centre, head of R&D Didier Miraton outlined the company’s plans for meeting future challenges. Michelin are developing a green policy that will satisfy legislative requirements while also fulfilling technological needs. Miraton said, “By the time the [global] number of vehicles doubles, we will have halved fuel consumption [relating to tyres]. Tyres of the future will not weigh one gram more, nor produce one decibel more noise”. He added that Michelin will continue to reduce braking distances.
Miraton also boasted that Michelin aim to halve the time it takes to develop and produce new tyres. They will achieve this through forward thinking, meeting the challenges before they arise. According to Miraton, “It is about being open-minded about what is useful for customers and society”. He was then able to give concrete examples of how this philosophy has already been put into practice in all sectors of the company’s business. The most dramatic example was in the development of the giant 63 inch earthmover tyre. Michelin built a factory to produce these tyres before vehicle manufacturers had made a machine requiring 63 inch tyres.
Michelin will continue its policy of developing tyres that minimize fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, while maximizing safety concerns. The company acknowledges that environmental issues will become increasingly important and the company is adhering to a green policy in order to address those issues.