By Alex Kapadia
Demand for car and light vehicle tyres is rising in Europe and the US as the industry starts to restock, according to a senior Michelin executive.
Claire Dorland-Clauzel, head of communications and brands and a member of the French tyres manufacturers management board, said: “Today we’re seeing a clear upturn in demand for replacement light vehicle tyres.”
Michelin had started to see this upturn in demand just before the summer, she said, adding that after a phase of drastic inventory cuts, distributors were starting to restock.
However, Dorland-Clauzel reported there are no signs of an upturn yet in demand for truck tyres, and added: “We’re remaining cautious”.
The news came at the launch of Michelin’s first worldwide Internet, TV and print advertising campaign, focusing on the safety, durability and economic benefits of Michelin tyres.
The campaign kicks off with an animated TV advert showing the Michelin man, known as “Bibendum”, defeating a gas-guzzling petrol pump.
Dorland-Clauzel declined to detail Michelin’s budget for the campaign, which she said would run in nearly all the countries in which Michelin is present, but said Michelin had set aside $20 million in the coming quarter and $40 million in 2010 for the U.S. leg of the campaign.