Monsieur Tire

"Tires may not be glamorous, but the brand is a jewel." So says EDOUARD MICHELIN, 41, CEO of the world's leading tiremaker, who is credited with opening up the secretive culture of the company his great-grandfather started in 1889. On the eve of unveiling the firm's latest invention--an airless tire--he spoke with TIME about the French company's latest opportunities and challenges.

TIME: The auto industry is pretty stagnant. How do you grow?

MICHELIN: You're right that some markets like cars are fairly flat. But even if you don't sell more SUVs next year, the SUVs on the road will still need...

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