Michelin, 88, was the leader of the French company for almost 50 years and he was also the grandson of the tire producer’s founder, with the Clermont-Ferrand based Michelin confirming the death of its executive in a statement recently.
There were no details on the circumstances of Francois Michelin’s passing, with the leader taking the 126-year-old tire producer towards global expansion under his rule – he was especially focuesd on the US market and under his guide the company built 25 plants outside its home market of France between 1960 and 1979. He was the undisputed ruler of the tire maker between 1955 and 2002 and under his counsel the company developed the successful radial tire, called Michelin X, and lifted revenue outside Europe while also becoming the home continent’s largest tire producer. “He was one of the greatest French industrialists in the postwar years,” honored him in a statement France’s president francois Hollande. “He understood the importance of innovation and of long-term industrial development. He transformed a family and regional company into one of the biggest French groups and one of its best-known.” He also orchestrated Michelin’s withdrawal from the car making business, by allowing Peugeot to purchase its subsidiary Citroen to form PSA Peugeot Citroen back in 1976.
His desire to strengthen the tire maker’s position on the US market led to the purchase of Uniroyal Goodrich Tire later on in 1990 and the company is also a world renowned publisher of the coveted Michelin restaurant and hotel guides. He is also notable for the decision introducing Carlos Ghosn to the automotive industry. The current chief executive officer of the Renault Nissan alliance came to Michelin in 1978 and had an 18-years long career at the tire maker.
Via Automotive News Europe