CLERMONT-FERRAND, France — Group Michelin has increased its ownership stake in Allopneus S.A.S., an online French tire sales and fitting enterprise, to 100% in a move designed to consolidate its e-commerce presence in France.
Taking full ownership of Allopneus will help Michelin develop its knowledge of customer behavior and the online purchasing process, the company said, in a drive to offer the best possible experience, from seeking information on-line to tire fitting.
Financial terms of the deal, which is still subject to approval from the French Competition Authority, were not disclosed. Michelin bought a 40% stake in 2015 in the company, founded in in Aix-en-Provence in 2004 by the Blaise family.
According to Michelin, the development of e-commerce is one of the tire market's key structural trends. Seeking information online has become an essential step for two out of three motorists in the weeks preceding the purchase of new tires. Up to 15% of those seeking information complete their purchase online, a trend that is expected to strengthen, Michelin said.
Allopneus accounts for 40% of the French online tire sales market to private individuals, according to Michelin, working with 6,000 partner fitting centers. Each year, the company sells 3.6 million passenger tires and receives approximately 27 million visits to its website.