Michelin: The replacement tire market, in the Passenger Car-Light Truck and the Truck markets, represents some 70% of the company's sales in volumes. Accordingly, before being a equipment supplier for vehicle manufacturers, Michelin is primarily a player on the consumer market for passenger cars and motorcycles and on the professional consumer goods market for light and heavy utility vehicles.
Michelin relies on its global industrial presence backed by a sales network in some 170 countries.
In 2007, Michelin producted 191 million tires and 17 million maps and guides.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP)--Michelin management said in a press release sent to national news agency Agerpres that the demand for tires in the European Union has shrunk, forcing the company to "adjust production."
Michelin has three factories in Romania and employs over 3,400 people.
Workers will get 75 percent of their pay during the shutdown.
The company said the reopening date for the factories will be announced in the next few days.
Hub or wheel motors have been used in prototype electric cars and trucks, though none are yet in volume production. They are quite common in electrically assisted bicycles and other personal transportation vehicles. Now, Michelin has taken the hub motor idea one step further with its Active Wheel. Besides the electric drive motor found in all hub motors, the Active Motor also includes the vehicle’s suspension and brake components.
According to Michelin, the Active Wheel greatly simplifies vehicle design because an engine gearbox, clutch, transmission shaft, differential, and shock absorbers are no longer needed. Besides being simpler, the vehicle can be substantially lighter and thus more energy efficient.
The WILL is the product of a joint venture between Michelin, French coachbuilder Heuliez, and France Telecom’s Orange brand. The lightweight vehicle has two trunks. Since there is no engine beneath the hood, the front end is designed to absorb impact in case of a collision. The active suspension in the two front wheels can quickly sense any pitch or roll and instantly adjust to offer what’s claimed to be unprecedented levels of comfort and road holding. The WILL can also be produced as a light commercial vehicle.
The first WILLs are planned for 2010 for professional drivers, fleets, and municipalities in Europe, with the general public likely waiting an extra year. It could be available with three different lithium-ion battery sizes for ranges of 150, 300, or 400 kilometers (93, 186, or 249 miles) with prices ranging from about $27,500 to $34,000.
“The evolutions noted since the beginning of October represent more marked degradation of the request in the majority of the countries of Europe and of North America”, explains the manufacturer. “If this tendency were to be confirmed during December and November, the operating margin, before nonrecurring elements, would range then between 7% and 7,5%”. Michelin counted until now on an operating margin close to 8,6%.
In addition, the group published this Wednesday a turnover in fold of 1,1% over the first nine months of the year, because of the “very strong negative impact of rates of exchange, taking into account in particular the depreciation compared to the euro of the American dollar, the British book and the Mexican peso”. The incomes of the group thus rose to 12,45 billion euros.
Lastly, the price effect was important, in particular with the third quarters, “reflecting implementation the progressive of price increases on all the products and everywhere in the world”. And “this effect should be still reinforced during the next months”.