Tires – Visit of Dunlop’s two-wheel factory in Montluçon – Dunlop in France: from Levallois to Montluçon

Visit of Dunlop’s two-wheeler factory in Montluçon

Tires - Visit of Dunlop's two-wheel factory in Montluçon - Dunlop in France: from Levallois to Montluçon

Where can you find a motorcycle and scooter tire manufacturer in France? In Clermont-Ferrand, at Michelin? No: in Montluçon, at Dunlop! Site visited the French tire manufacturer belonging to the Goodyear group: follow the guide !

Dunlop in France: from Levallois to Montluçon

In 1888, John Boyd Dunlop had the idea to surround the wheels of his grandson’s tricycle with a rubber tube: the first air-inflatable tire was born! Very quickly, this ingenious Scottish veterinarian understood the scope of his invention and in particular its importance in the development of different modes of transport….

Made in France: and Michelin ?

Where are the manufacturing sites for motorcycle and scooter tires from the French manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand? “We have three factories dedicated to two-wheelers around the world: one in Spain, another in Serbia and the last in Thailand,” Michelin told Site. According to the Bibendum, the tires destined for the countries of Europe would come mainly from its Spanish site of Lasarte, but "100% of the development of each tire (of series and of competition, Editor’s note) is carried out in Clermont-Ferrand", specifies the Auvergne giant.

"Only our tires reserved for motorcycle racing are made in France", adds Michelin, whose sporting commitment in 2013 covers the following disciplines: world endurance and supermoto championships, Spanish and Italian speed championships, enduro, rally -raid and trial.

To take advantage of this, Dunlop decided to establish itself in the main industrialized countries of Europe: in particular he launched his first point of sale in France at Levallois (92) in 1891, followed four years later by a factory in Argenteuil (95 ). The activity meets with some success and its growth prompts Dunlop to build a second production site in France.

This expansion materialized through the buyout in 1920 of a former shell factory based in Montluçon (03), a choice dictated by the geographical position of this town … Auvergne. However, its origin would also be due to a combination of circumstances !

"The story goes that the Dunlop managers found themselves stranded by train in Montluçon and that they would have been offered to visit this factory", tells us Pierre-Jean Éraud, director of the Goodyear-Dunlop site in Montluçon when we opened. the doors of this 20 hectare factory (including 8.1 hectares of buildings) which operates seven days a week, 354 days a year, thanks to a rotation of five teams (three during the week, two at the weekend).

Up to 3,710 motorcycle or scooter tires per day and 2,450 light truck tires, its second manufacturing activity, can be produced from this factory. Production today stands at around "2000 to 2100 tires per day", specifies our host (in gray shirt on the photo above) who estimates at "80%" the proportion of Dunlop tires intended for the European market made in Montluçon.

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