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At the tip of technology

Number one worldwide in winter driving safety, Ugigrip designs, manufactures and distributes studs used in snow tyres. Located in Epinouze, in France's Drôme region, the company employs a work force of 15 and generates some 95 to 98% of its sales abroad.

Studded tyres came into use in France in 1965 and were popular until the 1980s. For nearly 25 years they were manufactured by a series of companies until, on 1st January 1989, Roland Guirado, an employee of Sandvik, bought the group's studded tyre business and renamed it Ugigrip. Today, Ugigrip is the sole manufacturer of tyre studs in France.

Faced with a waning home market, the company set its sights on conquering foreign markets from day one. On 19 May 1998 the company listed itself on the Second Marché of the Paris Stock Exchange, mainly to increase its visibility and retain the confidence of its customers and suppliers. The same year, it set up Vallgrip, a company specialising in cold heading, rolling and bar turning and made it its prime supplier of pins (part of a stud).

Complete service

Studded tyres are used on private cars, pickups and 4X4s, trucks, heavy machinery and even racing cars

To fully meet customer needs, Ugigrip has beefed up its service offerings by selling stud bodies, tungsten carbide pins and studding equipment : semi-automatic studding machines, studding guns, feeders and all spare parts.