French tyre giant Michelin has shifted up a gear online: it has just bought a 40 % stake in Allopneus, France's largest tyre web shop, for 60 million euro.
3 million tyres per year
Allopneus.com sold 3 million tyres in 2014, representing a 7 % market share in France. Through its purchase, Michelin wants to increase its "digital offer and its commercial presence" online, in order to reach the increasing number of car users buying their tyres online. Over the past year, Michelin only saw a 0.7 % increase in tyre sales, something this purchase should help remedy.
"One in two motorists intending to buy new tyres seeks detailed information in the weeks preceding the purchase. In France, three out of four consumers seek this information online and currently 13% of them will make their actual purchase online", the Clermont-Ferrand based company said in a press release.
Strengthen bonds with Euromaster
Following the deal, Michelin intends to align Allopneus with its own network of tyre centers all across Europe. It currently has 2,300 Euromaster locations, of which 400 in France, and together it intends to offer the motorist "a simplified and financially-advantageous path from searching for information on the Internet through to getting their tyres fitted by professionals", Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard said.
Allopneus CEO, Didier Blaise, hopes to "accelerate growth thanks to the strength of the Michelin group". Allopneus, which collaborates with more than 4,600 registered tyre centers in France, currently employs some 200 people.
Founded in 1983 as mail order seller of agricultural and industrial tyres, Pneus France Nord (its previous name) was transformed in 2004, when Blaise decided to cast aside these activities and focus entirely on the online tyre sales business. It has done so successfully as it currently is the online market leader for tyres.