In order to support its corporate customers in transitioning to zero-emission mobility, at the end of last month Michelin launched ‘Watèa by Michelin’. It is initially rolling out Watèa in major cities across France.
As mentioned on Tyrepress.com yesterday, the future of tyre making at the site of Bridgestone’s recently-closed Béthune in France has been secured by a deal signed this month between major European vehicle maintenance and mobility firm Mobivia and French retreading specialist Black Star. With support from Bridgestone, the partners are gearing up to retread car, SUV and light commercial vehicle tyres in Béthune – products that Bridgestone intends to sell through selected retail outlets.
Major European vehicle maintenance and mobility firm Mobivia and French retreading specialist Black Star have signed an agreement covering the collection, sorting and retreading of passenger car tyres at the site of Bridgestone’s former Béthune plant in France. Bridgestone is lending its support to the project, which will commence in January and is expected to create nearly 200 jobs by 2025, thus providing employment for many former Bridgestone workers.
A decade ago, Air France entered into a ten-year tyre supply contract with Michelin. The French airline has now renewed this arrangement, extending its partnership for a further ten years. The Michelin Group will equip the company’s short-, medium- and long-haul aircraft, except for the Boeing 787, with new and retreaded tyres primarily produced at the company’s Saint Doulchard plant in Bourges, France
Copadex is expanding its existing cooperation with Alliance to become an official distributor of the whole Alliance tyre portfolio in France as of 2021. The extension of the Alliance offer will make Copadex a full range distributor of Yokohama Off-Highway Tires (YOHT) – as Alliance Tire Group was recently renamed – in France. Copadex is also an official distributor of Galaxy tyres – another YOHT brand specializing in the industrial and construction segments. Copadex will take over its new full range role in the highly important French market with particular focus on agricultural segment and the premium tractor radial portfolio specifically. Copadex will also distribute Alliance tyres in other segments such as forestry and construction.
Last September, Bridgestone announced it would close its tyre production facility in Béthune, France during in 2021. The municipal council of Béthune-Bruay now claims the tyre maker didn’t fully honour the commitments it agreed to back in 2007, when the municipality contributed towards a 32-million-euro investment in the plant. It is therefore demanding that Bridgestone returns the subsidies it invested.
Michelin has announced its intention to “evolve” its activities in its France by means of a three-year competitiveness plan covering all of its manufacturing, corporate and administrative operations within the country. The company is taking this step as a response to “profound, structural shifts in the global tyre market” over the past decade that have been “led by the massive influx of low-cost products.” The plan could see up to 2,300 of the 20,000 Michelin jobs in France cut over the coming three years.
Bridgestone announced plans to close Béthune, France factory back in September 2020. Now, however, the location looks likely to retain a role in the broader automotive sector after the Japanese tyremaker reported that it has identified 24 opportunities relating to the future of the site. Two of the options relate the sale of the site to other tyre manufacturers. Five of the identified projects concern the installation of new activities on the site in tyre and rubber fields as well as batteries and other sectors. Two of the proposals relate to “the installation of activities outside the site”. Nine projects are said to be in the study phase.
GT Radial sponsored racing partner, Benjamin Boulbes has won his fourth consecutive French Elite Drift FFSA Championship. The Covid-19 shortened season comprised five rounds, in which Boulbes amassed 1,045 points, three podium finishes, and four pole positions. His 2020 triumph marks an unprecedented seventh championship for the driver, having won in 2010, 2013, 2014, and the last four years. Boulbes competes in a tuned BMW M3 E93M, which produces around 1,200CV/BHP through its Chevrolet LSX376 engine, running on the GT Radial Champiro SX2 tyre.
From the 2021-2022 season, Liqui Moly will be the main and name sponsor of Starligue, the highest handball league in France. The motor oil and additive specialist concluded a five-year contract with the LNH national handball league. “This will help us to become even more well-known in France in order to expand our distribution and significantly increase our sales,” says Ernst Prost, managing director of Liqui Moly.
Bridgestone has confirmed its intention to close the Béthune tyre plant in France. The country’s Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, shared news about the decision yesterday. She tweeted that Bridgestone has “closed the door to continuing its activity in Béthune” and confirmed the plant’s closure. She added that the French government would work with employees to find a solution for everyone.
Michelin has added to its portfolio of non-tyre business assets with the acquisition of all outstanding shares in Le Fooding three years after the two companies first began collaborating. The deal is the culmination of an agreement signed with the co-founders of Le Fooding in 2017 – after Michelin acquired a 40 per cent stake in its share capital – that provided for Michelin’s future acquisition of the remaining interest.