Michelin Tyres Success Story- the great Success Story of the renowned French tyre company

Michelin Tyres Success Story

Michelin Tyres Success Story

Eric Roberts 24-7-2011.

Part 2; The great Michelin Tyres X radial car tyre was “born.”

The next significant milestone for Michelin was the introduction of carbon black in the rubber compound mixture, this not only gave them their black colour but changed the chemical

Michelin Tyres Success Story

Michelin Tyres Success Story; Michelin man sat in a Paris book shop window

The combination of the compound which resulted in the greater longevity in their life. This change happened in around 1917 and in 1919 came the introduction of parallel textile cords this would be known as the “comfort” tyre a few years later and was to become the first low pressure one. Later in 1935 yet other improvements were made, and the “Super-comfort” tyre was born. This procedure enabled tyres to work at even lower pressures for a more comfortable ride; these were the first of their kind in the world. These improvements were of great benefit to Michelin tyres, leading to their next great innovation.

The next great Michelin innovation was to become a World leader and set a standard for the rest of the tyre manufacturers to try and follow. Known to be the Michelin X tyre.

Michelin part owned the then ailing French carmaker Citroen and developed the tyre partly for the new Citroen 2CV. The Worlds first radial was born, the plies that ran from bead to bead were of a textile material, but the tread belt that ran radial around the tyre bead of steel. The French tyre maker could not believe what it had created. Indeed, cross plays the Michelin “X” gave better handling, better cornering, better braking. Michelins were giving double the mileage compared across-ply” tyre.   They gave a much lower fuel consumption and because of the flexible and resilient side walls gave much-improved comfort to the ride of the car, a truly “great invention”.

Michelin Tyres Success Story

Steel belted tyres were the World standard and was creating interest from European car makers. So much so that Lancia became the first car manufacturers to use the Michelin on their Aurelia model. The pattern was soon to be followed by Mercedes and on their 2CV models.

While this was all happening in Europe, the Americans were pursuing a different tyre strategy, but this is in part three. Arthur W Savage was the first man to invent and patent the radial, but when his patent ran out Michelin were the first to pick it up and develop into the “X”. His American contemporaries were not interested in the radial tyre, so the innovation went to Europe and Michelin.

Eric Roberts