Michelin buys out Allopneus SAS
Michelin has added the last 60 per cent of leading French tyre e-tailer Allopneus to the 40 per cent stake the leading tyremaker bought in 2015. Michelin now “intends to develop its knowledge of customer behaviour and the purchasing process and thus continue to offer the best possible experience, from online information seeking, right up to tyre fitting”, company representatives wrote in a statement dated 25 August.
The development of e-commerce is one of the tyre market’s medium-term structural trends – the significance of which has increased markedly as a result of the Covid-related lockdowns that took place during 2020 across various European countries. Michelin reports that seeking information online – something elsewhere known as pre-sale research – has become “an essential step for 2 out of 3 motorists in the weeks preceding the purchase of new tyres”. As a result of such research 15 per cent of these people complete their purchase online – a trend which is expected to strengthen in the years ahead. Consequently, maintaining a strategic position in the online tyre business is a stated aim of the Michelin Group – something that is exemplified by Michelin’s purchase of Blackcircles.com the same year as the company bought 40 per cent of Allopneus.
Based in Aix-en-Provence, Allopneus – which was founded by the Blaise family – has experienced strong growth since 2004. The company currently accounts for 40 per cent of the French online tyre sales market to private individuals. Allopneus employs 292 people, works with 6,000 partner fitting centres and has a logistics centre in Valence. Each year, the company sells some 3.6 million tyres and receives approximately 27 million visits to its website.
The acquisition of 100 per cent ownership of Allopneus SAS is subject to approval from the French Competition Authority.