By Denna Bowman
Michelin tyres have just celebrated their 120 birthday.
The French tyres manufacturer was founded in Clermont-Ferrand on 28th May 1889, when situated on 12 hectares on Place des Carmes (named after a convent that formerly occupied the site), the company began life with just 50 employees.
Two years later, the firm produced the first removable bicycle tyre, launching Michelin’s grand adventure with the pneumatic tyre.
Today, 120 years later, Michelin is one of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers with 118,000 employees in 170 countries.
Michelin declared: “Since its origins, Michelin has pursued the same vision of enhancing the mobility of people and goods. This vision is summed up in the Company’s signature – “a better way forward” – which is featured on all its communication around the world.
And what better place to celebrate the past 120 years than L’Aventure Michelin, a 2,000 square metre exhibition space that presents the history of the tyre manufacturer – past, present and future.
It opened to the public in late March and took more than two years to bring together.
L’Aventure Michelin traces the bold path followed by the Company’s founders-André and Edouard Michelin-as they pursued their ambition of “developing innovative, modern transport solutions that enable greater freedom and economic growth.”
Presenting the company’s development through a self-guided tour spread over two levels, the exhibition features many pieces from the Michelin Heritage collection, some of them unique or never before shown to the public, including a Bréguet XIV biplane.