CLERMONT-FERRAND, FranceGroup Michelin has acquired a 40-percent stake in Allopneus S.A.S., a French Internet tire retailer, for $64 million, in order to expand its online range and extend its commercial presence.
Michelin will become more adept at dealing with the different modes of online and offline searches and purchases, thereby pursuing its strategy to improve the services offered to customers, the tire maker said.
Based in Aix-en-Pro-vence, France, Allopneus sold 3 million tires in France in 2014, which represents 7 percent of the French replacement market, according to Michelin.
The tire maker noted that one in two motorists intending to buy new tires seeks detailed information in the weeks preceding the purchase, and in France three out of four consumers seek this information online, and currently 13 percent of them will make their actual purchase online.
Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard said this engagement is entirely consistent with Michelin's strategic line.
Getting Michelin to grow means understanding our markets in detail, so as to anticipate and satisfy the needs of our customers, he said. This alliance between two pragmatic companies manifests our desire to satisfy motorists to whom we are able to offer a simplified and financially advantageous path from searching for information on the Internet through to getting their tires fitted by professionals.
Allopneus' website, www.allopneus.com, offers passenger, light truck, medium truck, motorcycle, ATV and farm tires, as well as wheels.