It’s M+M After All!
In its last issue NEUE REIFENZEITUNG speculated about an agreement between Montupet and Michelin in the area of aluminium cast wheels. The talks seem to be “on hold” for the time being, because at the moment both partners have their hands “full with orders”. Montupet is currently doubling its capacity to 2.
5 million cast wheels. Kronprinz, the Michelin subsidiary in Solingen, is able to cast 1.4 million wheels with the equipment already in place.
In its search for a strategic alliance partner (without seeking a direct participation) Michelin has now found steel wheel manufacturer Meritor, which has factories in Mexico and Brazil. Meritor is a business division of Rockwell, the large supplier to the automotive industry, and is also known by the trade name Fumagalli. With an annual capacity of about 25 million steel and aluminium wheels Michelin is roughly double the size of Meritor.
The strategic benefit for Michelin is not only the geographical location of the two Meritor factories, but above all the close relationship between the supplier Rockwell and Chrysler. The principal reason for the cooperation between M+M, however, was Renault’s decision to produce the Mégane also in South America with the same steel wheels as in Europe, where they are made by Michelin. To comply with local content requirements, the South American Mégane will have Meritor wheels.