European Down-trend Halted: Michelin With New Product Lines And New Strategies
Since the early 90s, French tyre maker Michelin has continuously lost market share year on year in the passenger car and light truck sectors. The company used to have a 25% market share Europe-wide and this had fallen to 17% last year. According to Michelin, prices were too high vis-a-vis those of major competitors and were no longer competitive, as the end user is prepared to pay only around 10-15% more for a premium product.
The necessary price cuts can only be achieved if the company is able to increase productivity. Market experts are convinced that the productivity of Bridgestone/Firestone exceeds that of Michelin by 40%. Michelin is currently undergoing a restructuring programme which will lead to the job losses – or at least early retirement – of around 10% of the European workforce over the next three or four years.
Jean Michel Coulon (52), head of the passenger and light truck tyre division in Europe expressed confidence in talks with this magazine that the erosion of market share has now been halted once and for all. Coulon made it clear that he is not aiming to gain market share – his goal is to stop the erosion of market share, to implement an effective multi-brand strategy, to improve the product mix and, finally, to avoid a price war..