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More on Brand Innovation

125 Years of Improving Mobility

It takes a deep understanding and years of knowledge on tyres and leading tyre technologies to successfully combine conflicting performance characteristics. Michelin's know-how works to your advantage.

Innovation Is Second Nature to Us

Michelin's brand innovation infuses each step of the complex tyre-making process:

- Michelin develops all of the basic compound;
- To make and test tyres, we often build our own machines to guarantee safe and reliable tyres.

We see each step as an opportunity to give you better tyres.
And we don’t miss one.

They Just Kept Getting Better

By focusing on finding new solutions for your driving needs, Michelin's technologies and
innovations have profoundly shaped past and present tyres.
Today, we continue our commitment to build towards the future of mobility and driving pleasure.

  • 1895

    The first car was fitted with air-filled tyres!

    The Michelin Brothers applied their know-how from bicycle tyres to car tyres. They installed the first air-filled tyres on their racing car called “Lightning”. 

  • 1913

    The Removable Steel-Wheel (The Pre-Spare tyre)

    Michelin introduced the idea of an emergency tyre. You wouldn’t be caught without one today!

  • 1937

    The Pilot tyre

    Michelin launched a tyre for skilled drivers and high-performance cars. It was positioned lower to the ground and was a forerunner of the late twentieth century low-profile tyres.

  • 1937

    The Metallic tyre

    Its name says it all: in 1937, Michelin used steel cable as a tyre reinforcement. This would eventually revolutionise the world of tyres.

  • 1946

    The Radial tyre

    Michelin developed a different structure, improving safety and fuel consumption. A revolution that all tyre makers would embrace. 

  • 1992

    The Green tyre

    Michelin integrated silica instead of carbon black, improving energy efficiency while enhancing safety and increasing longevity.

  • 2004

    The Tweel (“tyre” + “wheel”)

    Michelin created a tyre that can’t explode or puncture: it’s not filled with air but with polymer spokes.

  • 2004

    The Active Wheel (electric)

    Michelin designed this wheel which integrates an electric suspension system, electric traction engine and disk brake.

  • 2012

    The Communicating tyre

    Michelin embeds RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips into tyres to increase safety and efficiency. Tested for the first time at the 2012 London Olympics.

  • 2014

    EverGrip™ technology

    This technology allows a tyre to evolve as it is being used, performing even when worn. Michelin created a “safe worn tyre” that grips even on wet roads!*

    * Safe refers to wet braking, wet handling and hydroplaning resistance when tyres are new and worn to 5/32”.

Research and Development Is In Our DNA

Michelin's first scientist was hired in 1893. The impact was so great that from that point, we knew that Research and Development would be key to the evolution of the modern, safe tyre.
Today, 6600 R&D people strive to ensure that your changing mobility needs are always met; researching chemistry, physics, new technologies and testing prototypes. Our hubs are located on three continents and in seven countries: China, France, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States.

 

Our commitment in a few numbers:

  • 350

    different fields of expertise involved (collaborative thinking sparks innovative ideas).

  • 10,000

    active patents that protect our innovations.

  • 250

    patents submitted each year.

  • 40,000

    times per year that we circle the earth through our road and machine tests – that’s once every 12 minutes!

A Lab on the Fast Forward Track

Michelin's motorsports lab is driving’s toughest innovation lab, and we’ve been experimenting
in it for over a century!

The pressure is high.
For each race, Michelin needs to deliver reliable tyres that ensure that performance characteristics are adapted to each racing partner and for different racing conditions.
Afterwards, we examine how our findings could benefit more people.

 

Our Le Mans Lab:

  • 90years of experience

  • 23 wins of the 24 hours of Le Mans

  • 17 consecutive wins

 

Our Rally Lab:

  • 40 years of experience

  • 21 World Rally Championships driver titles

  • 23 World Rally Championships car Manufacturer titles

 

Our Dakar Lab:

  • 32 years of experience

  • 16 Dakar car category wins

  • 30 Dakar moto category wins

 

Our Formula E Lab:

Starting in 2014, the new Formula E for electric cars will challenge us in
developing top-level racing tyres for this new breed of cars.