ANOTHER Le Mans 24 Hours. Another Audi victory. And another victory for Michelin.
Michelin has won 16 consecutive Le Mans races – every one since 1998
Le Mans and Audi get all the headlines (though the celebrations were muted following the sad death of Aston Martin driver Allen Simonsen), so what actually is in it for a sponsor like Michelin?More to the point – what’s in it for you if your SME business runs a small fleet of company cars?
Michelin’s costs – though undisclosed – must have been immense because, over and above the vast sums spent in advertising, sponsorship and corporate entertaining – Michelin set up a massive technical area to support those teams running its tyres and brought some 7500 examples to the racetrack.
How many 38-tonne HGVs were involved in that one basic task of transportation?
And yet, according to Michelin, the benefits are real, tangible and measurable – and have been ever since the very first Le Mans 24 Hours race when Michelin shod the very first winners – the Chenard & Walcker of Andre Lagache and Rene Leonard.
That car ran on Michelin ‘Comfort’ tyres which may or may not have provided some relief from the ruts in the road, but which certainly provided the longevity needed to run virtually continuously for 24 hours.
This year’s victory with Audi means that Michelin has won 16 consecutive Le Mans races – every one since 1998.
“The years have passed but Michelin’s philosophy has never changed,” said Michelin’s Director of Motorsport Pascal Couasnon.
“We innovate and develop technological solutions, test and prove them on the racetrack and then transfer that technology to production tyres.
“Today Michelin tyres guarantee greater durability, enhanced performance and safety, plus lower fuel consumption to be even more environmentally friendly.
“Simultaneously improving all these factors is a challenge that would not be possible without Michelin’s tremendous investment in research and development, or its involvement in motorsport”.
A similar point is made by Michelin UK’s Marketing Director Jianni Geras: “The essence of the Michelin brand is longevity and there is no better environment in which to demonstrate our position than Le Mans.
“And this has direct implications for our road tyres. Our tyres consistently outperform others in terms of longevity – and this is crucial for business car managers looking at whole life costs.
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