BOURGES, France—Michelin has completed the first phase of a five-year plan to enhance aircraft tire operations at its 70-year-old Bourges factory and incorporate the production of inflatable structures of the AirCaptif business it acquired in 2021.
Michelin has invested about $3.2 million at the site to build a 21,120-sq.-ft. building that will house the inflatables business, starting in January 2024 with 30 employees initially.
That space is slated to triple in size, sufficient to accommodate 100 employees or more, Michelin said, noting that the AirCaptif business—now operating as Michelin Inflatable Solutions—presents a natural overlap at the Bourges plant because of its involvement in the aviation and defense sectors.
In addition, Bourges, a city of 66,000 residents in central France, is equidistant between Trappes—AirCaptif's historic headquarters—and Michelin's research and development operations in Clermont-Ferrand, further enhancing the company's ability to develop on these high value-added markets.
The project is part of Michelin's decision to move inflatables manufacturing back to France from China, where it has been since AirCaptif's founding.