The French tire manufacturer Michelin is trying to limit its own dependence on undemocratic countries. “In China, we make sure that we don’t become too dependent. We do that all over the world, including in the supply chains,” said CEO Florent Menegaux in an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG. The group makes about ten percent of its sales in China. The manager stressed that the Chinese had “achieved a great deal” in fighting poverty in the past 30 years.

According to Menegaux, the consequences of the tough zero-Covid policy in China will be felt worldwide. “China is the factory of the world and the impact of these disruptions on global growth will be correspondingly large,” he said, referring to the lockdown in Shanghai, which has led to massive disruptions to shipping traffic, among other things.

Menegaux also warned of the negative impact of high inflation on Europe’s competitiveness.

Inflation has an effect on wages, he said: “People expect to get more money for their work. We are threatened by an inflationary spiral. We have to be very careful to keep our competitiveness compared to Asia and the USA.” According to him, Michelin has increased its own prices seven times in the past 18 months.