Congratulations to Michelin for scooping the Tyre Manufacturer of the Year award at the world’s biggest celebration of endeavour in the field of tyres!
The title was bestowed on the French tyres manufacturer at the second Tyre Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence ceremony, which is taking place this week in Köln, Germany.
Awards were given in five categories, and the winners were chosen by a panel of 17 internationally renowned industry experts.
Here’s what they had to say about Michelin: “It has been a busy 12 months for Michelin, with several exciting developments convincing the jury.
“2009 saw the company upgrade its global research and development center in Clermont-Ferrand and continue to specialise a number of its industrial operations in France.
“The project reflects the Group’s commitment to strengthening France’s role as Michelin’s strategic hub and innovation centre, and to enhancing the productivity of its manufacturing operations.
“As part of this commitment, the Group is investing more than €100 million in its Clermont-Ferrand research and development center.
“This upgrade program is designed to shorten time-to-market cycles for tyres and services, and to enable the development of more innovative manufacturing processes.
“Moreover, to enhance the specialisation of its production sites, Michelin is implementing plans to develop its Montceau plant into a high-performance facility for earthmover tyres and one of the two largest rubber compound centers in Europe, with the deployment of a €50 million capital spending programme.
“The facility’s current car tyre operations will be consolidated with those of other Group plants in Western Europe.
“The company is also making its Tours plant a benchmark for high-tech truck tyres in Europe, with the investment of an additional €15 million to continue upgrading plant installations.
“To make the facility more competitive, operations will be reorganised and specialised, leading to the closing of the rubber compound unit and the transfer of its production to its plants in Montceau and Cholet.
“Finally, Michelin is continuing to produce premium tyres in France by transferring production at the Seclin facility to Les Gravanches plant near Clermont-Ferrand, and strengthening light truck and SUV tyre manufacturing operations at the Cholet plant by integrating light truck tyre production from one of the Group’s European plants.
“Best of all, Michelin is carrying out this reorganisation without any layoffs, implementing a voluntary separation plan open to all employees that mainly involves pre-retirement working arrangements.
“The plan will enable nearly 495 of the 1,093 employees impacted by the reorganisation to take advantage of special early-retirement measures, and the other 598 to benefit from internal placement opportunities.”