JIHUA & MICHELIN - A partnership to design a new generation of shoe soles
By formalizing their partnership, Jihua and Michelin have forged an alliance to take a giant step in high-performance soles and technical footwear.
Their aim is to ultimately become a global leader with 5%-10% of this market, which represents 500 million pairs of soles.
Announced on November 26, 2014 in Clermont-Ferrand, the agreement will shake up the industry as it involves JIHUA, the Chinese textile and technical apparel titan, and MICHELIN, a world leader in the manufacture of tires that brings to the partnership a powerful brand. The goal is to provide relevant solutions in a field where expectations for
technological innovations are high.
Through their respective units – JV International and MICHELIN Lifestyle – the two companies are combining their technical expertise and knowledge. The synergy thus created represents a powerful asset.
Upstream, the Michelin Lifestyle subsidiary has supported the MICHELIN brand since 2001 with licensed products that showcase innovation, performance, safety and environmental protection. It brings to the partnership Michelin’s knowledge of rubber compounds, new materials, tread design and innovative technologies, from design to prototype production.
A benchmark in the area of design, JV International will coordinate each project worldwide, managing the entire manufacturing process, from needs identification to manufacturing to finished product delivery. The approach is intended to create close-knit relations with customer partners.
The first projects involve soles for work footwear and mountain bike shoes as well as for motorcycle boots. The first MICHELIN soles, distributed by TCX, Northwave and Diadora, benefit directly from special tire-related technology and expertise that provide advantages in terms of grip, durability and comfort. For Michelin, this approach is the logical extension of its previous collaborative ventures, beginning with Babolat in 2003 for tennis and then badminton footwear, with Kempa for handball shoes and more recently with Le Chameau for boots.