Michelin tires are probably one of the most recognizable companies in the US and perhaps the world. It isn’t just tires for your minivan that they make. Michelin produces a vast range of products for motor sports, aircraft, farm equipment, and more.
You might be surprised to learn that the complete name of the company is Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin. Originating in France, Michelin Tires was founded by two brothers in the late 1800s. At first, they produced tires for bicycles and carriages.
The first North American Sales office wasn’t opened until 1968. It was a quick success and Michelin continued expanding. The company is responsible for innovations such as the radial tire, removable pneumatic tire, and more. Now, of course, they sell tires of all kinds as well as maps and guides.
In 1989, Michelin acquired the Uniroyal-Goodrich brand, which was already established in the US. Over the years, they’ve traded positions for the world’s number one tire producer back and forth with other big brands like Bridgestone. Currently, Michelin stands at #1.
The company’s North American headquarters is located in Greenville, South Carolina, yet the main home for the brand remains in its birthplace of Clermont-Ferrand, France. They employ over 132,000 people worldwide.
Michelin and the fluffy mascot, the Michelin Man, have been a household name in America for decades. Read on to find out where those tires are actually coming from.
Verdict: Are Michelin Tires Made in the USA?
Only some Michelin tires are made in the USA. Michelin manufactures tires worldwide, 26 countries to be exact, including in the US. The majority of production for American sales occurs here in the United States. Other countries of origin include Canada, France, Germany, and Spain.
Michelin is proud of their American factories and often highlights celebratory milestones from their domestic plants and employees. Here is a snippet from an article talking about a 40-year-old Michelin facility in South Carolina:
The size of Michelin is easy to underestimate. In the US alone, they own 15 major manufacturing facilities. Here’s a list of the Michelin US factories:
- Dothan, AL: Light truck tires
- Tuscaloosa, AL: Passenger tires
- Covington, GA: Tread rubber and retreading materials
- Woodburn, IN: Car tires
- Kansas City, MO: Aircraft treading
- Asheboro, NC: Tread rubber and retreading materials
- Norwood, NC: Aircraft tires
- Ardmore, OK: Passenger tires
- Starr, SC: Semi-finished products, Earthmover tires
- Greenville, SC: Passenger tires
- Lexington, SC: Passenger tires
- Lexington, SC: Earthmover tires
- Sandy Springs, SC: Semi-finished products
- Spartanburg, SC: Truck and bus tires
- Duncan, SC: Tread rubber and retreading materials
Since 2020, Michelin has made over $8 billion in sales in North America alone. With over 23,000 employees in 34 plants in North America, they get a lot of work done without going overseas. Today, they continue to manufacture tires for cars, aircraft, bicycles, motorcycles, and construction equipment.
With so many manufacturing facilities in the US, it’s most likely the case that Michelin passenger tires purchased stateside were also made here. But it’s always good to double-check. To find out where your Michelin tires were made, check the DOT code on the tire sidewall. It’s a series of numbers that gives you information on the tire’s origin and date of production.
The plant code is a designator within the DOT that will tell you the location the tire was made. It will be the first set of letters/numbers after the “DOT.” See the photo below:
The following plant codes refer to Michelin’s United States facilities for passenger tires:
|US Facility||Plant Code|
We stepped into the customer chat on the Michelin website to ask about tires purchased in the US:
In conclusion, Michelin remains a French company, yet manufactures a large amount of their tires for North American sale within the US. If it’s purchased in the US, it is likely made here too. Check the DOT on the sidewall of the tire to be sure.
Popular American Made Michelin Tires
- X Tour A/S T + H
- Defender LTX M/S 2
- Defender 2
Popular Michelin Tires Not Made in the USA
- Most Michelin tires purchased in the US are made here too. An exception may be very high-level specialty tires.