Despite the media competition from the President of the Republic, who is visiting not far from there, the Michelin group put the small plates into the large ones this Thursday, October 27th, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its factory in Saint-Doulchard, where some 630 people and about fifty outsourced workers.
Jean-Christophe Guérin, Director of Manufacturing Activities, and Serge Lafon, Director of Specialty Business Lines, both members of the Executive Committee (Comex) of the Michelin group, responded to the invitation of the director of the Saint-Doulchard site, Jacques Glemot. As well as Mauro Sponza, head of aeronautical activities for the Michelin group.
At 70, the Michelin factory in Bourges Saint-Doulchard opens up new horizons
The Saint-Doulchard plant has been producing tires for civil, military and executive aviation since 2007. Around 130,000 tires (“envelopes”, in the local parlance) are released each year, which fit on Air Force aircraft and Space, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates or EasyJet. Among its other customers, “with the maximum requirements in terms of performance and safety”, underlined Jacques Glémot, are the manufacturers Bœing and Airbus, Dassault and Lockheed Martin, not to mention the US Air Force.
“It was in Saint-Doulchard that Michelin made the “rubbers” that allowed the Concorde to return to the air, in 2001. It was again in Saint-Doulchard that the tires for the Solar Impulse were designed in 2009. solar energy”, recalled Serge Lafon. Let’s add that in 2005, the first Airbus A380 was fitted with twenty-two Michelin tires manufactured in Saint-Doulchard.
In 70 years of existence and activity in Saint-Doulchard – “a close relationship”, rejoiced the city’s mayor, Richard Boudet -, the Bibs (an affectionate nickname given to Michelin employees) have everything there. strong economic and industrial growth, then setbacks caused by the oil shocks. And finally, in 2020, the Covid health crisis, which put the factory in slow motion. “Six days before the confinement, we opened our very innovative aircraft tire school here”, recalled Jacques Glémot…
Relocation of a Poitiers site
But in recent months, the Michelin group has regained altitude, mainly thanks to the renaissance of the global aeronautical sector. Your flagship in this area benefits.
By the band first. As already mentioned, in 2023 the site will recover the assembled assembly activities (for heavy vehicles and vans) transferred from the Poitiers site, and those from the Belgian factory of Gosselies in terms of civil engineering and agricultural wheels. All with about forty jobs at stake.
A new production line will be dedicated to guide tires for subways. Michelin expects a growth in demand on the occasion of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Precisely in 2024, the Michelin site of Saint-Doulchard should receive the industrial establishment of the very promising start-up AirCaptif, which will therefore leave its very tight cradle of Trappes (Yvelines). AirCaptif specializes in ultralight inflatable structures, especially for the highly specialized aeronautics and defense sectors.
” Factory [de Saint-Doulchard] can approach the development of its new activities with confidence”, concluded Jean-Christophe Guérin, industrial director of the Michelin group.