Tire Industry Leader (01:40)
Michelin was the second world leading tire company in 2011 and comprises 72 production sites over five continents. Executives describe the company's strategy.
Founding Michelin (00:57)
Learn how Édouard and André Michelin built their business in Clermont-Ferrand, France in 1886. André's grandson Guy recalls their relationship.
Pneumatic Tire Innovation (01:56)
The Michelin brothers recruited local vineyard workers. After repairing a pneumatic bicycle tire, Édouard experimented with design and provided the winning tires for the 1891 Paris–Brest race.
Improving Auto Travel (02:32)
André used tires on his own horse drawn carriage. In 1894, iron clad automobile wheels couldn’t absorb road shocks. The Michelin brothers gradually improved tire design and convinced auto companies to adopt their patent.
Michelin Man (01:14)
In 1897, cars were a novelty and road safety hadn't yet been invented. Learn how the Michelin brothers pioneered slogan and mascot marketing in the 1890s; view early advertisements.
Michelin Management (00:57)
Édouard and André managed the factory with their respective families. Employee benefits included profit sharing, healthcare and sick leave.
Developing Road Infrastructure (01:18)
The Michelin brothers created the Michelin Guide, maps and road signs to encourage motorist travel. Sports events such as the Gordon Bennett Cup also promoted sales.
Michelin Company Culture (00:54)
Michelin led in manufacturing prior to 1914. They opened subsidiaries in Italy and in the U.S. and forbade union activity until the 1920s.
Michelin Aviation (02:03)
The Michelin brothers wanted to produce airplanes and created an awards program to encourage innovation. During World War I, they manufactured Allied aircraft and opened a field hospital in Clermont-Ferrand.
Employee Benefits (01:52)
Michelin offered long term advantages, including paid leave and retirement pensions—before France had passed social laws. Clermont-Ferrand worker housing was affordable and comfortable.
Michelin Schools (00:56)
A former pupil describes Catholic education for workers' children.
Michelin Sports Association (01:35)
The company built athletic facilities in French factory towns. View archive footage of young men training in rugby and track.
Employee Participation (01:13)
Édouard developed a systematic approach to management, including teaching the Michelin "spirit" and promoting industrydiscretion.
Michelin during the Depression (02:01)
Hundreds of American workers were laid off after the stock market crash. Marcel developed a rail car with special tires in the '30s. Guy recalls André's death in 1931—a heavy loss for Édouard.
Michelin Family Life (01:45)
Guy recalls children receiving cars as gifts. Édouard's eldest son Etienne was killed in a plane accident in 1932 and his second son Pierre managed Citroen automobiles. Pierre designed the TPV, or "very small vehicle" in 1937.
Michelin and Politics (02:04)
During the Depression, Michelin downsized more than 50% but technical innovations continued. Leftist parties united against fascism; despite employee benefits the Communist Party demonstrated at the factory in 1936.
Michelin Family Tragedies (00:55)
Pierre Michelin died in a 1937 car accident. Édouard named his grandson Francois future heir, born in 1926. The company alloyed rubber and steel in a tire in the late '30s.
Michelin in World War II (01:10)
After France was defeated, Édouard died in 1940 and his son-in-law Robert Puiseux took over management. The company was forced to produce for Germany.
Michelin and French Resistance (03:01)
In 1941, the company allowed workers to sell tires on the black market. Michelin maps helped the Allies plan D-Day and Marcel was executed in Buchenwald in 1944; de Gualle honored the company for standing up to Germany.
Radial Tire Innovation (01:44)
Launched in 1946, Michelin's revolutionary technology brought market success. In 1959, Francois took control of the company, increasing production during the post-war economic growth period.
Michelin Structure (01:32)
Former employees recall the company culture in the post-war period, including confidentiality contracts.
XAS Tires (01:35)
Former employees recall Michelin industry confidentiality around new products; view footage of test runs from the '50s and '60s.
Michelin Employee Housing (01:24)
A retired factory worker explains how the company assisted with home loans and construction materials—a community model exported to other Western countries.
Michelin Employee Demonstrations (02:38)
After the 1968 student uprising, French workers became combative. Hear from both union protesters and collaborators.
Expanding to the U.S. (02:35)
Guy recalls using the first man on the moon as free advertising for Michelin. After the '70s oil crisis, Francois partnered with Ford and Sears and elevated the company to the first position in global tire sales.
Michelin in Formula One (01:21)
The company entered competitive racing with Renault and Ferrari in 1977, winning world championships with radial tire technology.
Michelin Vulnerability (01:32)
During the early '80s crisis, Michelin had to let go half its employees in Clermont-Ferrand.
Multinational Corporate Status (01:52)
In the early '90s, Michelin focused production in Japan, Thailand and the U.S. and took over Uniroyal—restructuring from a geographical to a market based organization.
Expanding into Aviation (00:56)
In the mid '90s, Michelin equipped a NASA space shuttle with tires and began supplying Boeing and Airbus.
Recent Michelin Management Changes (03:29)
In 1999, Francois transferred management to his son Édouard, who drowned in a fishing accident in 2006 and has been succeeded by Michel Rollier. An employee compares company management to a retail strategy.
Future of Michelin (01:16)
Tire markets are expanding in China, India, Southeast Asia and Brazil.
Credits: The World According to Michelin (00:00)
Credits: The World According to Michelin
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