Founded in 1888 by the Michelin brothers, André and Édouard, in Clermont-Ferrand, France who were running a rubber company and like all the others the company started manufacturing tires for bicycles and horse-drawn carriages it wasn’t until the 1890’s when the company enter the automobile tire making business after designing their own version of the pneumatic tire, one that did not need to be glued to the rim. In 1891 Michelin took out its first patent for a removable pneumatic tire which was used by Charles Terront to won the world’s first long-distance cycle race, the 1891 Paris–Brest–Paris..

In the 1920s and 1930s, Michelin operated large rubber plantations in Vietnam.
In 1934, Michelin introduced a tire which, if punctured, would run on a special foam lining, a design now known as a run-flat tire (self-supporting type).

In 1946 Michelin came up and patented a key innovation in the tire history, the radial tire, and applied this technological innovation to successfully become one of the world’s leaders in tire manufacturing. The radial was initially presented to the public as the “X” tire. It was created with the front-wheel-drive Citroën Traction Avant and Citroën 2CV bein taken in consideration. Michelin had bought the then-bankrupt Citroën in the 1930s. For its superiority in handling and economy in fuel, the use of this tire spread quickly throughout Europe and Asia.

In 1966, Michelin partnered with Sears and started the production of radial tires under the Allstate brand and by 1970 the company was selling 1 million tires per year.

It was until 1968, when Michelin opened the first sales office in the United States and was able to successfully grow that market for its products very quick.

Michelin is the second largest tire company in the world owning 5 more brands: the Kléber tires company,Camso, Uniroyal-Goodrich Tire Company, SASCAR, and Bookatable and putting their tires to the test and participating in many motorsport competitions like MotoGP, Formula One, Endurance racing, Rallying and others.

Facts and History on: Michelin Tires