Here at Bowles Automotive we are tire experts. We care about you and you deserve the quality of Michelin tires on your vehicle. In an effort to keep you and your family on the safest tires available, Bowles Automotive sells Michelin tires at cost! Labor and taxes are additional. Maybe you only think of us as your repair shop, but who else knows your car and your driving habits better than your mechanic?
When you need new tires come see what Bowles has to offer. Not only can we repair or replace your tires, our experts can explain to you why your tires wore unevenly and make professional recommendations of adjustments or repairs to fix the problem so you get the maximum life from your tires.
Do your tires have uneven ware or did they ware out quicker than expected? When you install new tires you will also want to take advantage of our state of the art alignment service that will help to ensure you get the maximum life from your tires.
We also suggest you take advantage of our Nitrogen fill service for your tires. Using Nitrogen in place of regular compressed air improves tire wear and gas mileage. Nitrogen keeps your tires running cooler and does not leak off as fast as air.
At Bowles Automotive we take pride in the high quality Michelin tires we install for our valued customers. Getting the best performance and life out of any tire requires that all the mechanical systems that effect tire ware are in good condition and set to proper specifications. The menu below will give you a brief description of a few of the systems you need to be aware of.For more information about tires and mechanical systems on your car visit our virtual garage page by clicking "here"
To see our catalog of quality Michelin tires click here.
MICHELIN IN THE UNITED STATES
Michelin North America is a $10.76 billion dollar a year company operating 19 plants in 16 locations and employs 22,000 people. It manufactures and sells tires for airplanes, automobiles, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. Michelin manufactures tires in six states: Alabama, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina and South Carolina. In addition, there are three plants in Nova Scotia, Canada and one plant in Queretaro, Mexico. Two plants specialize in the manufacturing of semi-finished goods taking raw materials and turning them into components for the plants that produce tires and one plant strictly produces synthetic rubber. Finished goods are produced in sixteen plants, two sites produce retreads for the trucking and one site produces retreads for the aircraft industry. Michelin Maps and Guides also produce road atlases, road maps and travel guides for all the major cities in North America.
Michelin has been a part of the tire industry in the United States since 1907 when it purchased the International Rubber Company in Milltown, New Jersey. Tires and tubes were manufactured there up until 1930 when the Great Depression took its toll on what had become the fourth largest tire manufacturer in the country with 2,000 employees. The Michelin North America as we know it today took form In March of 1950. With three sizes and two different tread designs of truck tires made with metallic plies, five people started Michelin Tire Corporation in New York City. There was an executive vice president, a vice president of sales, a secretary, a warehouse supervisor and one newly hired sales representative. The tires cost anywhere from 40-50% more than the competition but their construction with metal plies bonded to rubber allowed Michelin salesmen to offer a tire solution to fleets operating under the most severe conditions. This included fleets dealing with extremely heavy loads and in the sanitation business. This strategy established a reputation of durability and quality still prevalent today in the modern trucking industry.
Growth in sales led to the need for a larger facility in 1954. Developed in 1953, Michelin began to import the all-steel one ply radial truck tire in 1956. This is the tire that revolutionized the world tire market. There was interest in the radial truck, but the bulk of Michelin's sales were the older, metallic bias ply tires. Even with steady annual growth, the annual sales volume in 1959 were less than a week's production in a modern truck tire plant.
While the radial passenger tire had been gaining acceptance in Europe with car manufacturers in the late 1950's, it would be the mid1960's before it was factor in the United States. Michelin's world-wide growth in the 1960's was phenomenal with the opening of twelve new plants and the announcement that a plant would be built in Nova Scotia, Canada by 1971.
Two major events happened in 1966 that drew Michelin into the largest passenger tire market in the world. Up until 1966, Michelin had only been importing small quantities of radial passenger tires to service consumers with European cars originally fitted with Michelin radial tires. That year Ford decided the 1968 Lincoln Continental Mark III would have radial tires as original equipment. Although domestic tire manufacturers had purchased the license to develop radial tires, none were successful in developing a satisfactory radial tire. Ford then selected Michelin to be the supplier. This was a major boost for both the acceptance of the radial tire and establishing Michelin in North America. The second major event that made Michelin a part of the U.S. tire market happened when SEARS went shopping for a radial tire. In an effort to get ahead of its competition and realizing the impending radialization of the tire industry, SEARS sought out a supplier and ultimately selected Michelin for their reputation of high quality and technical expertise in building radial tires. By the end of 1969 expansion necessitated another move to a larger headquarters and the work force had expanded to 250 people. The sales force was now up to 103 people in the field.
Michelin had led a revolution in the transportation industry with the introduction of the radial tire. As the global demand for radial tires accelerated, Michelin responded with an expansion plan that opened twenty-three new plants, all producing radial tires. Michelin made the decision in the early 70's to produce only radial tires and eliminate production of the old-style bias ply tires. Two plants had been opened in Nova Scotia in 1971 and it was announced that construction would soon begin for two plants in western part of South Carolina. One plant, US2 in Anderson, SC, would build semi-finished products to supply the other plant that would produce tires. The plants were scheduled to open in 1975 and the very first radial passenger tire came off the line at US1, Greenville, South Carolina on March 10, 1975. A third plant, US3, in Spartanburg, SC came on line in 1978, producing radial truck tires for the rapidly growing radial market in the trucking industry. Expansion in the 1970's in the U.S. was completed with the opening of US4 in Dothan, Alabama. Along with the plants, a research and development was opened center in South Carolina because the corporation has always believed in developing products exclusively for a North American market where huge geographical distances demanded different tires than established European markets. In 1979, Michelin opened a new headquarters building in Lake Success, New York to accommodate a continuously growing work force. Michelin opened the decade with 250 employees and by 1979 the number was 7,000. Michelin had also expanded its tire lines dramatically from two types of tires that still required tubes to a full line of tubeless radial passenger tires to serve the growing demand for tires with greater fuel efficiency, longer life and better handling. In 1970 there were three types of truck tires offered and the 70's ended with an expanded line of tires to meet multiple and various needs of fleet owners, from over the road long haul operations to fleets hauling rocks or coal. There were now radial tires for bread fleets and small package delivery fleets.
The 1980's brought the challenges of consolidation and recession to the tire industry. Fully recovered from the effects of World War II, Japanese and European countries were competing toe to toe with American companies in a global economy. Many smaller tire companies were absorbed by larger ones because it was obvious that you had to get bigger in order to survive. Michelin had to invest heavily in the expansion of North America and it was not immune to the effects of the recession that hit the tire industry in 1980 and 1981. Serious losses were off-set by becoming more cost conscious and better planning. There was major competition to deal with now who were successfully manufacturing radial tires. Michelin has always been a resilient company and it came out of that period stronger and smarter. Two more plants, one in Lexington, SC and one Nova Scotia, were opened in the early 80's. To consolidate headquarters operations and manufacturing, Michelin made the decision to relocate its North American headquarters from New York where it had been since 1950 to Greenville, South Carolina. The doors opened at its present location in September of 1988.
After a careful study of market trends and monitoring the actions of its two major global competitors, Michelin made the decision in 1989 to purchase the Uniroyal-Goodrich Tire Company. This acquisition would not only make Michelin the largest tire company in the world, but would provide the corporation with a portfolio of strong brands with a rich heritage in the American tire market. Uniroyal and BFGoodrich Tire formed a joint venture in 1986 to leverage each others' strengths in the original equipment and replacement market. Michelin went into the 90's in a position to offer the best products at the best price point in all virtually every consumer category.