The idea for the icon came to Edouard Michelin at an exhibition in Lyon in 1889, when he saw a pile of tyres which looked almost lifelike. With the help of an artist called O’Galop, the Michelin Man (in French: Monsieur Bibendum) was created. He has been adapted and slightly modified over the years to better reflect the product so that now he is made up of fewer, thicker tyres. The consistent image and marketing took Michelin from being a well-known French operator to a multinational player. It is now the leading tyre manufacturer in the world, with sales operations in over 170 countries.
For more extensive information and various applications of the 'Monsieur Bibendum' logo-image, please see: http://susaneverett.com/article/michelin/michelin.php