(Editor's Note: This story is part of our #TireBiz30 in which we feature one archived story every day of September to celebrate Tire Business' 30th anniversary. Each story represents one of the most relevant news story published in our pages for that year.)
CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—Groupe Michelin can celebrate its centennial this year knowing it has become the world's largest tire maker, as determined by sales.
In its recently released annual report for 1988, the French tire maker recorded tire sales of at least $8.1 billion for the year-just surpassing the $7.93 billion reported earlier by Goodyear, which has held the No.1 spot for nearly 80 years.
Michelin's total sales, including non-tire operations, climbed 8.5 percent to $8.73 billion, while its net profit slid 2.5 percent to $436.7 million-the result of rising raw material costs and depreciation expenses.
In North America, sales grew 8 percent to nearly $2.06 billion, making the region Michelin's largest sales market. The firm's U.S. tire production rose 5 percent.