FRANCE: Michelin upbeat on long-term Russia prospects

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 November 2009

Michelin is planning to expand its production capacity and distribution network in Russia despite current difficulties caused by severe economic recession.

Michelin's Russia managing director Eric Faidy told La Tribune that Russia remains a high-potential market.

Although Michelin has delayed investment decisions in Russia this year, if a market recovery was confirmed at the end of next year, significant capacity increase projects could begin, he said.

The Russian car market fell 51 percent in the first 10 months of 2009, but some analysts believe there are signs that the market will soon bottom with a slow recovery taking hold in 2010.

Michelin has been making car tyres in Davydovo, 90 kilometres from Moscow, since 2004. Capacity at the site is limited to 2 million units per year, a level which would have been reached this year without the crisis, the paper quoted Michelin as saying.