Cédric Binoit, Managing Director at Michelin Australia, Deputy Chairman of the French-Australian Chamber, and President VIC Chapter
Could you tell us more about your professional background and your current role within MICHELIN ?
I have been working for Michelin for 18 years. I started as VSNE (called today VIE) in Ivory Coast in Africa and then 7 years in France as Regional Sales Manager and Key Account Manager.
In 2006, I moved to Romania where I have been appointed as Commercial Director for Passenger Cars and then in 2010, Country Commercial Director for Romania and the Balkans.
I arrived in Melbourne in October 2013 to take the Responsibility of Michelin Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands).
What are the main challenges MICHELIN has to face on the Australian market?
First of all, Michelin is present on many markets : Earth Mover, Truck, 2 Wheels, Passenger Cars, Agricultural tyres, Aviation… and all markets are different… hence the first challenge is to be able to be really active on every market.
But let’s focus on the Passenger Car tires market… Our main challenge is to make sure that the consumers can easily find the Michelin products, whatever the state, whatever the city… despite the size of the country. Very often, I meet customers who are interested in our products and want to know where they can buy it. Therefore, we work hard on what we call the “FOOTPRINT”, which is the number of point of sales where you can find our products. We are referenced in most of the biggest distribution networks in Australia, including Tyreplus, our own network.
Second challenge, the importation of ‘low budget’ tyres, made in China, which are usually cheap , but with a very bad total cost of ownership . We need to convince our consumers that, by purchasing a premium product, they make the right choice, both from the financial point of view and from the safety perspective.
In Michelin, we don’t like the compromises: our products are the best of their category.
What are your objectives as Deputy Chariman of the Chamber and President of the Victoria Chapter ?
The main priority is quite straightforward: we need to increase the number of members.
We still have too many companies based in Melbourne which are not member of the Chamber and we need to understand why. We have identified companies that we would like to meet in the coming weeks and that we would like to listen to.
Based on this feedback, we will improve our offer, in order to make sure that we can bring the right added-value to respond to our members' needs, whatever their sizes, whatever their activities. It’s obvious that a SME doesn’t have the same expectations than an international company.
Of course, FACCI Victoria will keep going with the major and well-established events like the Gala , the Tour de France Lunch, and of course the 25th anniversary edition of Le Concours des Vins de victoria, and in July, this year, The Bastille Day French Festival. But in my opinion, 4 big events are enough. I won’t push the team to add more, since they are usually time and resource consuming.
Regarding our way of working, we will propose in the coming weeks a small change in our organisation. We will probably have less board meetings, but we will try to be more efficient with more active sub-committees.
And last but not least, at the Federal level, I would like to foster the relationship with the Presidents of the different Chapters and share our experiences. I will encourage our team to work closely with the other Chapters… without forgetting our goal : to offer the best level of service and added value to our members!
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