PIERRE-LOUIS DUBOURDEAU

Mexico 2021 | TRANSPORT & SECURITY | INTERVIEW

Going far beyond tires, Michelin strives to provide people with a better way forward and provide the world with better mobility.

Pierre-Louis Dubourdeau
BIOGRAPHY

Pierre-Louis Dubourdeau started with Michelin in 2015 as director of operations in its plant in Cholet, France. In 2018, he was sent to the UK to become sales director and was later named President of the AMC region. He previously worked in the French government for five years as head of risk prevention and consultant to the Ministry of Ecology and in Total for three years in its subsidiary Tenesol as head of business development.

What challenges have you been facing in Mexico when it comes to continuing to provide services and solutions?

The pandemic has been challenging for everyone from an individual and organizational perspective. We have focused on the safety of our people and our customers above all else. We also have industrial sites that have been recognized as an essential activity during the crisis in Mexico so we have been allowed to stay open with an emphasis on strong health and safety protocols to safeguard our employees. In that respect, we were recently recognized by the Secretary of Work and Social Provision in Mexico for the quality of our implementation. We are taking care of our customers in the processes of delivery of tires and contact with our salesforce and have been supporting communities by handing out a great deal of materials, support, and masks. Our salesforce has been conducting virtual visits and holding virtual conferences with our customers to keep them informed of updates. The online business has surged during the crisis, so we have been supporting customers in their transition to new business models. Michelin is a leader in not only the traditional distribution network but also a leader online and are really investing a great deal of energy to maintain this.

What does Michelin do in terms of services beyond tires and restaurants?

Our purpose is to provide people with a better way forward and provide the world with better mobility. Our business goes far beyond tires, as we have four business models. Our core business model, from which we still get most of our revenue, is making tires for everything that moves, from cars and trucks to motorbikes and all B2B mobility such as construction, mining, and aviation. We have been investing to consolidate our tire business and have gained the number-one position worldwide this year through that business. Here, especially in Central America, we are trying to consolidate our business around three brands: Michelin, BFGoodrich; and Uniroyal, which are our three main brands. Across all our lines of business, we are growing fast. Around this we have developed three extensions where our growth is faster. The first one is services, as we do not want to only provide tires to our B2B customer but also the service that goes around it as well as service around mobility. That can be GPS tracking of cargo to prevent theft, cameras on trucks to follow driver behavior and reduce the risk of accidents, or the construction of trucks to be more efficient. We are providing these solutions in Central America through a company called Michelin Connected Fleets that provide our tire knowledge with a complete solution for mobility of truck vehicle fleets.

Which segment of your business is growing fastest in Mexico?

Services are growing rapidly. For example, in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been growing due to the activity of services. The third activity is experience, as Michelin has historically provided an experience of mobility to the consumer. Since the beginning of the 20th century, we started to help drivers to service stations and restaurants. That activity worldwide is being developed, and we are expanding the network of the Michelin Guide for restaurants and the Green Guide for travel. We are also expanding our activity in the gastronomy field and have activities like the Robert Parker Guide for wine. The last part of the Michelin business model is high-tech material to develop the technology we use for work applications for other purposes, such as the medical field, for example, where we are using it. We are a leader in applications such as 3D printing and plan to expand our activity beyond tires in the field of mobility or high-tech material in the next 10 years to ensure we also prepare the future and that Michelin continues to contribute to the development of humanity.