Thanks, in no small part, to its iconic logo (Bibendum, the Michelin Man), Michelin is one of the best-recognised brands in the world.
It all started in 1889 in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Two brothers, André and Edouard Michelin, owners of a rubber factory, tried, and failed, to repair a cyclist’s damaged pneumatic tyre. Transfixed, they set about creating their own version. In 1891, only two years later, Michelin took out its first patent for a removable pneumatic tyre - an innovation arguably as important to the world of modern tyres as their very creation.
On this knowledge the company’s brand and reputation were formed. Today, Michelin manufactures tyres for everything from bicycles and cars to specialist equipment, aircraft and even space shuttles!
The company has 72 production facilities in 19 different countries and marketing operations in more than 170 nations. It should therefore come as no surprise that Michelin is one of the largest and most influential tyre manufacturers in the world, with more than 100,000 employees and net annual sales worth €14.8 billion.
The company’s brand portfolio is also, unsurprisingly, very impressive. It includes: Kleber, Tigar, Riken and Kormoran, in addition to Uniroyal (North America) and BFGoodrich.
Take a look at the evolution of everyone's favourite logo below:
Why Choose Michelin Tyres?
Innovation, invention, design and technology are key to Michelin’s continual presence at the very top. Employing approximately 4,000 specialists, Michelin’s research and development department is one of the largest in the whole tyre industry.
More than a century of experience in tyre manufacturing, combined with years of involvement in cycling and motorsport, has paved the way for a company which now makes premium quality tyres for every type of vehicle.
Furthermore, Michelin ensures a firm focus on safety, longevity and fuel efficiency. The fact that Michelin tyres regularly come out on top for handling and wear in independent tyre tests bolsters the brand’s reputation for reliability and high quality performance.
With a name like Michelin, you can feel secure in the knowledge that you’re getting some of the best quality tyres on the market.
Michelin Tyre Reviews & Awards
Drivers who use Michelin tyres are often full of praise for the brand and many become life-long customers.
Some of the key positives noted by reviewers include the high level of grip provided by Michelin tyres, their responsive steering and handling and their reduced road noise. In addition to this, motorists have often praised the smoothness of the ride with Michelin tyres, in addition to the low levels of rolling resistance and impressive fuel efficiency.
Moreover, Michelin tyres always perform well in independent tyre tests and all of the company’s latest tread patterns have impressed.
In Auto Bild’s 2017 all-season tyre test, for example, the CrossClimate+ emerged as Test Winner, receiving a rating of “Exemplary.”
Moreover, the Pilot Sport 4 has received a huge number of accolades. In four separate tests carried out in 2017 – in magazines Sport Auto, Auto Bild, Evo Tyre and Auto Motor and Sport – the Pilot Sport 4 emerged as Test Winner.
Take a look at the videos below. On the left is a teaser trailer of Michelin's involvement in the 2018 Le Mans race, and on the right is a brief summary of Michelin and Porsche's 50 year partnership:
Michelin participated in MotoGP from 1972 to 2008. The company introduced radial construction to the sport in 1984, as well as multi-compound tyres in 1994. It achieved 360 victories throughout the 36 years it was active. Furthermore, every year between 1993 and 2006, the World Championship went to riders using Michelin tyres.
Michelin first competed in the 1977 Formula One Season. It was responsible for introducing radial tyre technology to the sport. After withdrawing from F1 in late 1984, Michelin made a triumphant return in 2001. The company has supplied the Williams, Jaguar, Benetton (later renamed Renault), Prost and Minardi teams. Furthermore, Toyota joined F1 in 2002 with Michelin tyres and McLaren signed up with the company. By the 2005 season, Michelin tyres were dominating the sport.
Michelin has also been involved in endurance racing and rallying. The company’s relationship with 24 Hours of Le Mans goes all the way back to 1923. In 2009, Michelin supplied tyres for 41 out of the 55 cars entered in Le Mans. Similarly, in the World Rally Championship, Michelin has, at one time or another, supplied the Audi, Citroen, Ford, Lancia, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Toyota and Volkswagen factory teams.
Popular Michelin Tread Patterns
Michelin's Pilot Sport range is a popular choice for high-performance and sports cars. The Pilot Sport 4 offers a precise steering response and stability when cornering. The Pilot Sport 4 S is an excellent performance tyre, homologated by a range of high-performance marques, among them Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari.
Michelin’s Primacy range has proved very popular with those seeking an all-purpose tyre. The range provides good qualities of safety, performance and longevity. The new Primacy 4 offers excellent braking, roadholding and cornering qualities in all weather conditions. It is ‘A’-rated for wet grip.
Alpin is a popular winter tyre range. They feature a multi-layer tread compound and offer up to 35% better fuel economy than the average winter tyre. With a tread design that evolves to widen grooves as the tyre wears, you can be sure the Alpin 5 will provide you with optimal safety and control in difficult weather conditions.
The company’s Latitude range is especially designed for 4x4s and SUVs. The tyres have been designed to provide a high level of safety, as well as longevity and durability. What’s more, the newest Latitude Sport 3 has been homologated by some of the most prestigious SUV models, including the Porsche Macan.
Michelin’s CrossClimate range provide popular all-season options. The CrossClimate+ combines the wet grip and braking performance of a summer tyre with a winter tyre’s traction and braking qualities in snowy conditions. The CrossClimate was the first summer tyre to have winter accreditation.
Michelin’s Energy Saver range became a market-leader for drivers of small and medium-sized cars. It is a multi-purpose tyre: one that is equally at home on long motorway journeys, around town and in all weather conditions. It has a special under-tread layer with very low rolling resistance polymers, which helps to reduce fuel consumption.